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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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

9,399 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,399
Reviews: 2,861
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 317
Gots: 1,456 | FT: 11
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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,399 | Reviews: 2,861 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobhits
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard is an odd beer to qualify. It isn’t an IPA but it sure has enough hops to call itself one. The look is of the deepest darkest red amber hue, with a solid 2 inch head that takes on a dirty dark cream color, leaving layers of lacing down the glass. Good, but not great clarity and not much carbonation in the glass.

Citrus hops and a chocolate and caramel malt. Some toasted and roasted aromas all blending into simple perfection.

I first had this beer when I was 21, it was amazing then. 5 years later and I truly wonder if there are 20 beers I’d rather have. I have no idea what the style is. I have no idea of what else compares to it. Citrus American hops attack the pallet. The malt is a mix of caramel, roasted chocolate, smoke, and perhaps just a touch of fruit. To say this is intense is an understatement to say the least.

This beer bites and that is the point! It’s just an amazing treat on the tongue, from the creamy head, strong alcohol, thick almost candy like body.

The first time I tried to buy beer I was told to try this and I asked if it was any good after reading the label. “Well, the labels right odds are you won’t like it.” I put the bottle down and I bought something else. Today I proudly drink this beer from an Arrogant Bastard specialty glass, stem and all.

Photo of Phelps
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Mellow Mushroom, poured into a shaker pint.

Dark burgundy in color, with notes of burnt orange. Shadowy enough to almost completely obscure my fingers behind the glass. A frothy half-finger light tan head becomes a medium, fluffy ring. 4

The nose: caramel, toasty bread and nuts, orange, pine and grapefruit peel. It’s big, abrasive and arrogant for sure, but a little rough for me. 3.5

The flavor mirrors the nose pretty well: toasty bread, caramel, peanuts. It’s lightly sweet, and balanced by intense grapefruity, piney, heavily bitter hops. A powerful flavor, but in good balance. Alcohol emerges as the beer warms.

Prickly medium carbonation, lightly fizzy, with a hefty, kind of syrupy medium body. Smooth on the tongue, but bit hot. Pretty bitter, yet it finishes crisp.

Arrogant Bastard is an egotistical, condescending asshole of a beer, but like they say: it’s hard to be humble when you know you’re great. Though it’s definitely rough around the edges, AB always seems to deliver the kick in the ass my tastebuds crave.

Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of deadbody
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Stone is new to MN, so I took a shot on some beer that my wife said was named after me.

Poured from the bottle into a Pint glass. Poured a nice dark aley brown. Good head that stayed for the entire beer, and left some gorgeous lacing. Smell was outstanding, hoppy and dark. Taste, good hops bitterness and a bit of malt backbone. Very solid. Mouthfeel was a tiny bit thin,but very good.

Overall a great beer. I don't know that I'll drink it all the time, but it was good and I'm glad I drank it.

Photo of bymyheelicarenot
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I will always have a big heart for this beer,it was the first real beer that got me into real beer. To this day it is still my gold standard for beer. App its a dark ruby amber it has a strong smell piney in the front and in the back. It just tastes like o this is what a beer is sour at the start super piney at the end,great thick mouthfeel. Everyone should drink this atleast twice.

Photo of mellowmark
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. brown bottle to an Imperial Pint glass. Enjoy by 06-06-11. $4.39 a bottle.

Appearance: Pours a very nice maroon color with ruby and orange accents and a 1-finger tan frothy head. Moderate retention with a decent amount of flat patchy lacing.

Smell: Smells kind of like a DIPA. I get strong citrus and tropical fruits from the hops and a caramel like sweetness from the malt. Unique yet familiar.

Taste: Malt sweetness up front then bitter earthy hops take front stage and don't really let anything else that may be present sneak through. Some dark and tropical fruit sweetness counter the hops, but it finishes mostly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with a medium carbonation.

Drinkability: High

I didn't especially care for this one to start out, but towards the end of the bomber I was loving it. Note: as the beer warms the malt really starts to show it's true colors, so I would recommend letting it sit out at room temperature a bit before consuming if you want a more balanced beer.

Photo of MattyG85
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Deep reddish amber. Nice tan head with decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet mixture of toasty malt, caramel, floral hops, and citrus. Aroma is a lot milder than I expected.

Taste: Strong toasty malts balanced by moderate citrus and pine hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation.

Overall: A very nice blend of sweetness and bitterness. I think the description on the bottle is a little misleading as it makes it sound like this a hopbomb like a DIPA. The bitterness is mild enough for someone who isn't a hophead to enjoy. Overall a very solid brew.

Photo of Snow81
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish amber clear haze

Head: Dark tan frosty head

Smell: Sweet maltyness with a bit of a citric hop

Taste: Big malts with a nice biter hop

Weight: Medium body with a medium to high carbonation

Finish: A bitter hops with a little maltyness

Photo of plfahey
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep mahogany ruby red, with brilliant clarity. Tall light tan head has good retention and great lacing.Looks lovely.

Aroma-Somewhat softer than what I expected-grain, caramel, biscuit, and toasty malt all make an appearance, along with light grassy, floral, and herbal hops. Smells nice, but I'm not blown away.

Flavor-Fairly high malt flavors of biscuit and toast are quickly swept up by moderately high hop bitterness and resiny, piney hop flavors, before being quenched by a bit of alcohol and more hop bitterness. It finishes quite dry, with sticky hop bitterness and a slight resiny flavor lingering on.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body, medium to medium high carbonation. Silky smooth and slightly mouth coating in a very pleasant way. There is some alcohol warmth, and even though the beer finishes quite bitter, there is no astringency from the hops.

Definitely good, though I'm not blown away by the flavor or the aroma. The aroma is a little light, and the bittering hops in the flavor just kinda come in and smack my tongue around. That said, it is quite smooth, moderately complex, and rather easy drinking for a beer with this much alcohol and bitterness.

Photo of IllNate
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy brown/amber. Loads of off white head, good retention.

S - Great aroma. Complex hopiness mixed with caramel and sweet malt and rounded out with some great fruity esters.

T - Great taste too. This thing sits the line between IPA and cascadian I think. Citrus hops abound, with some pine too. Caramel sweetness in the malt adds the perfect balance. Great drinker and already feeling the warming.

M - Puckering bitterness but otherwise perfectly smooth.

O - Great beer. Beer is good enough to deserve a 5 somewhere, but since it's just all around solid, I'll put it here.

Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap into pint glass

A- pours a mostly clear amber color with chestnut hues..it has a small off white head and a fresh staying cap

S-is citrus.pine and sweet floral hops with malts and caramel mixed with some fruit and spice

T- is awesome good its a dose of citrus hops mixed with a dose of sweet fruit/caramel finished with an herbal,spice some tartness and malt tastes a touch of baked bread

M- crisp and clean well carbonated a little tart with a fantastic hop profile

O- this ale has alot in the bottle and i found it quite tasty and a pleasure to drink it was sweet,hoppy and bitter ...just great

Photo of sommersb
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 22oz. brown bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a clear, dark burgundy color, with about 2 fingers worth of tan, creamy head. Lacing was good down the glass sides.

Aromas are very strong hops, with pronounced citrus notes and a floral quality as well. The alcohol also is evident in the nose.

Taste is a big, bold and complex thing. The alcohol makes itself known, as well does the powerful hop bitterness. There is some malt sweetness, but the hops seem to overpower the malts. Crisp beer that seemed to mellow (just a little) as it warmed.

The aftertaste is bitter, but does offer some sweetness in the finish. The body is medium and carbonation high.

Overall this is a powerful, raw brew that kicks tail. The intense bitterness was not really my thing, but this is a beer to be respected!

Photo of deebo
2.51/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not much of a NW hop fan when done in arrogant fashion so didn't expect to care for this one-but gave it a try at a beer tasing.

A-light clear brown with a weak head
S-Yep its hoppy, citrusy/piney, touch of malted barley
T-Decent upfront malted barley flavor quickly taken over by grapefruit, resin like hops.
M-Decent, but lingers
D-I could drink one if in a pinch.

Definitely an arrogant bastard-me no like, but good for you hop heads.

Photo of BeardedRiker
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is there ever a time to be an arrogant bastard? I think today, my birthday, is as good of a time as any. And what better day to be an arrogant bastard AND drink an Arrogant Bastard. I'm not worthy? Well screw you, Stone. I AM worthy today. I've lived a mere 25 years but have only truly began to enjoy beer for a few. I remember the first time I drank the legend known as Arrogant Bastard. I was a mere amateur beer drinker, though at that time I still disliked light beers, and ordered the Arrogant Bastard just because of its name. I am willing to bet that many people who don't have the beer recommended to them get it for the same reason. What young and arrogant beer drinker doesn't want to order an Arrogant Bastard just because of the name? But oh, I was not worthy of it back then. I found it too bitter and too insane. It bombarded my taste buds with its hoppiness and flavor. I couldn't handle it! But today, today is a different day. Today I am older, wiser, and a much more worthy beer drinker. Today I will finally sit down with Arrogant Bastard and give it its due. Perhaps I am still not worthy of its glorious flavors, but it does deserve a proper review from me.

Arrogant Bastard is one of those beers that has you enamored with it as soon as it fills your glass. It's like seeing a woman that has your jaw dropping even by first glance and you the rest will be even better. OK, sorry for that creepy analogy. This bastard of a beer looks brown under dim light but if you put it up to a light you see how beautiful it is, like a red ruby, though it is bronze too. Little pearls of carbonation float their way to the top where the head forms gloriously. Seriously, I love the head on Arrogant Bastard. It looks so good it's screaming, "Look how Goddamn good I look! I look so freaking good that you're not worthy of drinking me. I mean, seriously, I'm a Goddamn masterpiece!" Well, I can't really argue with that. The head forms perfectly to where you can have it rise and inch or two above the top of the glass. It's a wonderful site. It is extremely frothy, tan, and fizzles away very slowly. The lacing it leaves when drinking the brew is a nice sight too.


You can smell Arrogant Bastard a few feet away after pouring it out. It's definitely very sweet, like toffee. The hops are earthy and don't smell as floral as many other hoppy beers do. But since this isn't pale ale, that's not a negative. There is a lot of maltiness in there too that adds a bit of breadiness. This beer doesn't smell too pine tree like...but it does remind me a bit of Lagnitas', and I hate to compare them, Wilco Tango Foxtrot beer in that they smell like a coniferous forest in a way. I could say there is some mango-citrus in there too but it's not very prominent.

But how arrogant and how bastardly does the Arrogant Bastard taste? It is sweet, earthy, and smooth. Definitely drink this at a warmer temperature or you'll end up just tasting a lot of hops and not much else. Right off you get a well-balanced punch of bitterness from the hops that is balanced with a lot of sweetness. It's not too sweet, though. The malts add smoothness to it and contribute the caramel-like sweetness, as well as the coniferous forest flavors that linger on into the finish. The mango-citrus makes a brief appearance in the hops and sweetness in the beginning and towards the middle. I guess if you don't like sweet beers then you might not prefer the Arrogant Bastard but this is a damn good strong ale that is well-balanced with hoppiness, sweetness, and malts. It is no wonder the Arrogant Bastard is so touted as a great and more-than-worthy beer the adventurous as well as the beer-loving. If you don't like Arrogant Bastard then you're either: 1) An idiot. 2) An idiot who likes beer but doesn't understand it. 3) An idiot who understands beer but is not worthy. And even now I question whether or not I am worthy of its glory. But it's my birthday, damnit, and I am worthy.

Like I said, wait until the beer warms up a little before you drink it or it'll be all hops and no flavor. If you drink it cold then it will not be very drinkable. If you let it sit out then it will be much more enjoyable. It has a ton of flavor and is pretty sweet but is also very drinkable when drank at the proper temperature. This would be a great beer to have with a bacon cheeseburger...with some bleu cheese. At least, that's what I'm thinking about now.

The next time you're out and feel like being an arrogant bastard, go out and buy an Arrogant Bastard to see how it feels...and tastes. You deserve it and so does the beer.

Photo of surprenant1138
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter. Deep red/mohogany in color with small amount of beige head that sticks around. Excellent lacing. Aroma is of barley, light on hops, some walnuts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Taste is of barley, some hops, earthy, slightly nutty, dry, slightly sweet. This is one of my favorite Stone brews. The "Bastard" line starts here.

Photo of DoktorZee
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz into a hefeweizen glass. Best before date May 5th, 2011.

A - deep brown, clear brew with a moderate tan head that resolves after a few minutes leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S - grapefruit hops on top of some toasty malts; after it warms a little some really strong caramel malts come through

T - big powerful flavor with strong citrus hops backed with a big caramel malty profile that give a very slight hint of sweetness at the end in the middle of the enduring bitterness

M - velvety mouthfeel with subtle but abundant carbonation

D - quick drinkable even though it's super-powered; moderate booziness and warming

Obviously a classic and a really, really tasty and complex beer. I prefer this to the Oaked version (though that's pretty decent as well)!

Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.39/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Stone Arrogant Bastard pours a very clear dark amber color. The head is light tan and has great retention.

Its aroma has notes of caramel, roasted nut, and toffee.

The taste starts off sweet, but the mid palate is quickly passed by into a overwhelming hop bitterness. There are no distinct flavors just a tongue thrashing of bitterness. This taste lingers on the palate for minutes.

The mouthfeel is heavy and the carbonation is nice and subtle which helps balacne out the tanins from the hops.

Like any extrememly hopped West Coast beer I can't imagine drinking more than one without tongue fatigue more like exhaustion.

Overall it is worth a try to get a feel for what this really cool brewery can do.

Photo of Kitt
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from 21 oz bottle to pint glass, a deep, dark, caramel-color with a straw colored two-finger head that seems to grow with time rather than dissipate. Frothy lace definitely persists.

A pungent aroma of decaying leaves and moist barnyard hay. Sorry, that's about all that comes to mind. Quite a dissapointment. Perhaps a hint of rotting peaches.

A bombardment of rich malt and bitter hops blended with an eclectic dash of pine, fresh cut timothy, and ripe banana.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and delightfullly smooth. Carbonation a bit strong for my taste and alcohol is prevalent.

This is an ale not quite like any other. Bold and daring, it is well named!

Photo of gskitt
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark amber, hazy. Frothy, billowy white head floats on top. Smells of hops, sweet malts, caramel, and has some floral notes. Tastes of bitter bitter hops. Has some distinctive aftertastes, and oily resins. Do not let the sweet scent fool you, it does not come into play in the taste. This is a complex and layered Strong Ale. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky. Overall its a really nice beer.

Photo of livewire05
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep clear amber/brown color. Ample frothy head that dissipates slowly. Excellent lacing.

S: Very hoppy. Notes of citrus and pine.

T: Assertive bitterness mixed with a sweet citrus malt. Very complex. Spicy aftertaste.

M: Almost knocking on the door of full bodied, but still very smooth.

O: One of my favorite beers. This offers something new and interesting with every sip. Doesn't compromise on any aspect.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.44/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reading that bottle 4 years ago was an experience, I had to try it. Since then I pick up an Arogant Bastard every now and then. Saw a bomber for 3.99 earlier so figured I would pick it up and drink half before and half during dinner.

Appearance-Dark dark red color. Light brown colored, creamy head that leaves a lot of lacing. No matter how the smell or taste is, this beer is one of the best looking beers I've seen.

Smell-I can smell a sweet, burnt caramel with some hops lingering in the backround. I don't get too much citrus which i thought It had but get some darkfruits, I actually can get some barleywine characteristics. I little spicier though, some clove sneaking through.

Taste-Malty, bready/yeasty. You get some sweetness at the forefront and the hops come through at the end. I get some raisons as well. It's not bad, but just not as complex as i remembered it last.

Mouthfeel-Medium-Full bodied which goes down very smooth. Back of the throat gets the hops and a dryness which makes you going back.

Overall-Four years ago I would have said this is the craziest, most intense beer ever, but now it's kind of average to me. The look is amazing, but the smell/taste are getting weaker to my palate. Stone does a great job at promoting their craft beers by their intense marketing campaign, but it's almost getting a little bit old to me. I would prefer some other offerings such as the Sublimely Self-Rightous ale and Ruination.

I'm still confused, b/c I know this beer has more to offer then a B-, will review one day next week.

Photo of ehammond1
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A very dark ruby and near brown, dark orange edges, with a very thin light brown head that doesn't last long. Sheets and rings of lacing line the glass. A gorgeous beer with a disappointing head.

The first thing I notice in the nose is the sweet caramel malt amidst an enveloping aroma of citrus hops. The sweetness is the star of the show and the caramel really comes through predominantly. There's also a bready quality which actually reminds me of Stone's Pale Ale.

The thing I always come back to with Arrogant Bastard is the way it tastes. It might not be the most impressive looking beer or the most aromatic, but boy does it taste good! This beer is amped up to 11 in both malt and hops. I know it was "extreme" for its day, back when it was first brewed, but it's still a classic American strong ale. Plenty of citrus hops, loads of bitterness, sweet caramel and bready malts, the faintest hint of alcohol; a classic.

Moderate to heavy in the mouth which is pretty appropriate for the style and the taste. A bit higher carbonation would probably make it perfect though.

This beer is a classic, a pioneer, and ultimately, simply delicious.

Photo of StLThrash
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Very beautiful, deep dark amber / red and clear as a bell. 1 finger head that maintains itself awhile. Some lacing on the way down.

S - Lots of toasted caramel malts, chocolate, small amount of sweet hops.

T & M - Very robust, full-bodied goodness. Lots of toasted malts and caramels. Alcohol is well hidden with some minor hop bitterness, and finishes with some sweetness.

O - A nice, solid beer. I tend to prefer a little more hopness in my beers, but that's not what this one's all about. You arrogant bastard!

Photo of oldsailor
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They got this right when they came up with the name. This is one strong ale. I'm with most people when saying this is a beer that you start with and go nowhere else or end the night with it. It will linger with you and mess with whatever other flavors you attempt to put with it. Smooth feel, caramel flavors and moderate carbonation make this an exceptional beer.

Photo of Floyd12
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug.

A- Deep copper color beer with a large sticky and frothy off white head with great retention that left lacing all down the side.

S- STRONG hop aroma with fruity and floral undertones which attempt and almost succeed in masking the high alcohol content.

T- Very ful and rich taste witha medium body. A toasted and caramel undertone with a malty sweetness that balances the alcohol bite. Al matched with the fruity hoppy taste.

M- Very smooth with mild carbonation.

D- Very drinkable if you are sophisticated enough to enjoy it. Large bottle and high alcohol conent means you can't knock back 6 or 7, but you will greatly enjoy what you do drink

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,399 ratings.