Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

9,279 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,279
Reviews: 2,833
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 300
Gots: 1,310 | FT: 7
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: 9,279 | Reviews: 2,833 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours deep red/amber, almost purple, with a dark creamy head.

S - Hits you right away, hops and fruit. Some grapefruit, other citrus scents. A bit of 'earthy' smell as well, somewhat a mixture of flower and pine.

T - Very first sensation I get is pine needles. Starts a bit sweet with those fruity notes from the smell, before resolving into piney bitterness. Great amount of hops in this beer, almost peppery.

M - It neither coats nor dries the mouth. The pep of the hops settles near the back of the mouth. Mouth is left a little moistened for the next drink. Just nice and smooth the entire way

D - Remarkably drinkable. It hits you in the face, but it goes down really well. Can barely taste the alcohol in this beer.

Overall - Just a delicious, delicious beer. I love the balance in this beer, the bountiful amount of flavors and how the beer moves from sweet to bitter so seemlessly. Just outstanding

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Pours a burgundian ruby hue with two fingers of stiff khaki head. Thin drape of sticky lace. It's a bitter beast for certain.

Smell -- Juicy citrus, pine resin, musty vegetation (cannabis?), Caramelized fruits, . Slight solvent-like burn on the nose, but otherwise the alcohol is undetected.

Taste -- The hopping is dank and fruity: grapefruit rind, pine resin, leafy and musky hops. Bitterness is significant. Malting is on the sweet side with toasted malt, and caramel, bitter chocolate, and bread pudding. Mild mineral character is also present; this seems to be a Stone calling card. Additional dry amber/red malt flavor toward the finish. Lingering flavors of candied orange peel and pine resin.

Mouthfeel --Medium-bodied, a bit viscous, with well-balanced carbonation: feels somewhat gentle but still quite energetic. Lovely!

Drinkability -- This beer is a must-try, without question: wall of citrusy hop bitterness tempered by a well-malted base that brings to mind red ale-meets-barleywine.

Beyond being a great beer, this is an important beer in terms of the history of American craft brewing: its roots are in classic English brewing, but it doesn't conform to any pre-established style. Its imitators are legion, its equals few. While its spin-off beers may outshine it, there is no denying AB's mark on the craft beer landscape.

Photo of OuthouseBrewing
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I never drink it out of the bottle. I have to pour into a glass to see the gorgeous amber color. The smell is unmistakable and I take a whiff before every drink. The taste is everything the bottle says and pairs with many Pub foods. Drinkability makes my first choice if I grab a beer from Stone. A good beer to take the training wheels off and really dive into the beer community.

Photo of FosterJM
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

151st review on BA
On draft to pint

App- A nice dark amber/light brown with a 1 finger head that was a little darker than white.

Smell- Its a big scent to take it. Hits me each time I have drank this. Its very hoppy with citrus and some floral. Matly spiciness as well.

Taste- It's been a long time since I had one of these and it's a lot better than I remember. Its strong and it's meant to be as the flagship beer. Hoppy strong and a little spicy with some nice undertones.

Mouth-Medium bodied and medium carbed. Nice aftertaste.

Drink- It was very good especially paired with a green chili burger. Last beer of 2010. Thanks Stone for a great sendoff!

Photo of therica
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this so many times but apparently never stayed awake long enough to post a review.

A= amber-orange with a modest head and some consistent rimming and lacing.

T= beautiful, complex hops, both floral and bitters. Nice sweet malts, citrus, a complex boldness that needs to be experienced.

T= immaculate, inspiring, a "standard" in this style. Delicious, plentiful flavors, complex bitterness and floral hops yet nice sweet and possibly roasted malts and very light carramel notes.

M= very clean and true despite higher ABV and hoppy presence. Slightly grassy remnants, very light honey hints, dry malts and a variety of hops florals and bitters. A standard.

D= as much as you can 1) afford, 2) tolerate with the slightly elevated 7.2% ABV.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with the Father in Law into two pint glasses.

Brown-red, near garnet like. 2 fingers of head of eggshell white head. lacing is very nice, leaving both lines and a nice trail after each sip. Excellent.

Nose is a filling of piney, peppery hops. Malt backing is there, more bready and grainy than anything. This is one you tread lightly on.

Malt base comes to play early, giving a bit of saltine like breadiness and good caramel cream nature. Mild sweetness, but it is quickly overtaken by the hops. A piney mixture with a good pepper like spiciness that resonates well past the first sip.

So dang quaffable. Moderate creaminess, silky smooth, very nice and enjoyable mouthfeel. If it was more drink. This is one is dangerous, because the abv is in that realm of too much and not enough. It is well hidden and can quickly become a problem. Watch out, this one comes to play, and has a nasty bite.

Buy two, because after the first, you will be wanting another. What a dirty devil

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

Poured from 22 oz. bomber into Portsmouth Brewery snifter.

A: Pours a deep copper color with amber highlights and a nice thick, light tan head that slowly dissipates leaving some nice lacing down the glass.

S: Has a nice hoppy nose to it with some citrus scents and some caramel malts.

T: Up front taste is pretty hoppy and has nice citrus notes to it with a sweetness from the caramel malt. The finish is bitter and smooth all at once. Hops leave a bitterness in the palate well after the beer has passed.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation.

D: This offering has a nice hoppy presence, highly flavorful and enjoyable beer. The alcohol is hid well by the hops and is highly drinkable. I can't believe it's taken me so long to try it.

Photo of Enigmaticgesture
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Experienced both on-tap and bottled. The difference between the two is staggering beyond what is normally expected.

Bottled: I would be tempted to rate the beer almost half a point lower in almost ever category, especially taste. The hazy bite of this potent beer seems to be somewhat lessened, but the bottled version retains the same strong malty smell and spiciness.

On-Tap: Wow. A solid and awesome beer that lives up to its name! The flavor is much stronger on the front end when consumed on-tap, the spices and malt practically kicking in the face of any bastard lucky enough to drink a sip. The hops wash away the spice toward the end, leaving just a trace of malt and hops on the tongue. Extremely drinkable!

Photo of Northjames
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle.

Great looking beer. Very clear, ruby/garnet color. A thick, rocky head that sticks to the sides of my mug, forming huge penisulas of solid foam.

I get a huge hit of grapefruit for aroma. A slight bready-ness.

Taste is a sharp sweetness, quickly mixing with citrus/grapefruit. The alcohol is present and pleasant. I get a little bit of a dark chocolate kind of taste (that I also find in Duvel). Aftertaste is very nice, biscuits or bread.

Drinkablity is high for a beer of this substantial character.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.13/5  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!

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

Poured from a Bomber into an Imperial Pint glass.

A - Poured a deep carmel/copper color with a creamy, tan, three-fingered head that persisted and laced the edge of the glass.

S - NIce hoppy scent and malty sweetness.

T - Taste is sweet carmel, malt, and coffee with an ample amount of hops and abundant malt.

M - Low level carbonation, medium-body, hoppy bitterness and carmel lingers on the tongue.

D - Very good American style ale, long on flavor.

Photo of LtCracker20
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes.

A- Brown body with a 2-finger khaki head. Great retention. Great lace.

S- Hop smack up front, with some caramel malt as well.

T- Hops punch you in the mouth. Slight caramel again. Very bitter finish.

MF/D- Big body, very creamy. Only downside is that it's a palate wrecker.

Photo of Chile
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy reddish brown. Frothy head with decent retention. Great lacing.
22 oz.

S - Aromatic. Floral hoppiness with sweet malt and a hint of yeast.

T - Flavorful and complex. Mildly roasted maltiness that finishes with a nice bitterness that is not overwhelming. The faintest taste of yeast in the background. A tanginess develops after warming a bit.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

D - Smooth; hides the alcohol well.

Overall, a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of nataku00
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint glass. Beer is a vibrant red / brown, clear to show some carbonation in the beer. Initial two fingers of tan colored fluffy head that left some nice lacing on the glass.

Nose is citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, and rye like malt that lends a bit of caramel.

Citrus is the first thing you taste, grapefruit and orange, the bitterness coming shortly thereafter balanced by the sweet caramel malt through the finish. Slight lingering bitter aftertaste but it's not overpowering. Not much of an alcohol bite, which is nice.

Medium bodied with light carbonation to keep the tongue clean. Fairly easy to drink but the hops are bold enough to keep your pace slower.

Photo of neilgavigan
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of BeerMeInMS
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking Date: 12/23/10
Drink-by Date: 11/21/10
* a little past its date but I belive the high alcohol (7.2%) kept it fine. I tasted no complications.

Glassware: large curved pilsner-style glass
Bottle: 22 oz. brown bottle with the coolest advertising I have ever seen or read. The paragraph on the back was the reason I bought the beer.

Appearance: Visual perfection. retddish-brown color that is both deep and bright. Thick, frothy, tan-colored head that sticks with you until the end. Best retained head I have seen in a beer so far. It left spidery lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Typical smell of a quality beer with lots of hops... floral and piney...very fresh and refreshing.

Taste: Lots going on in this beer! The beer kept surprising me with its complexity the whole time I drank. A little taste of bitterness is evident first, which is quickly followed by a strong and faintly sweet, toasted flavor. The bitter, hoppy taste and the malt flavor then blend for a complex, but balanced taste. The beer left me with a bitter, earhty taste of hops, which I enjoyed.
But like I said... as I drank I kept discovering more nuances. There always seemed to be an underlying hoppy, bitterness in every taste. The best thing was that I didn't have a few sips and my taste buds grow accustomed and dull out. Rather, every sip was a pleasurable, interesting experience. (Would give it a 4.8 if I could)

Mouthfeel: The big flavor makes it feel like a big beer, but the beer has medium body and smooth texture along with a good amount of bubbly carbonation.

Drinkablity: The 22 oz. I drank were enough. I might drink a couple pints, but no more. The big flavor and strong hop taste make this beer one to slowly be enjoyed singly or as the penultimate beer of the evening. However, I don't reckon that against the beer. The fact that every sip of the beer was delicious and interesting is reason enough for high marks.

Notes: Love this beer. If you like beer with big, complex flavor and a good dose of hoppy bitterness then I would say you are 'worthy' to have this beer (even though the bottle says otherwise). Will purchase this one again when I can find it.

Photo of JayS2629
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep chestnut color with medium tan head, nice retention, and creamy sea foam lace. Beautiful.

S- Rich caramel, grapefruit, hints of chocolate, pine and citrus notes

T- Much more hoppy and bitter than the nose. Grapefruit right up front, followed by caramel and faint hints of chocolate. Very hoppy bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied, crisp,

D- Quite aggressively bitter finish that sticks around. More hoppy than expected. Refreshing, but strong. Sipper.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark tawny color. It has a one finger tan head that sticks around for a bit, before sinking down into large aggregates of bubbles covering the top of the liquid. The beer is opaque, with little carbonation visualized. Decent lacing appears as the beer disappears. The aroma is comparable to a basic doppelbock. It has deep dark malts, with a bit of a toast, sweet caramel, buttery diacetyls, clean hops, and what seems to be a bit of yeast on the very back. As we sip, we start with bready roasted malts, and a tinge of metal. This falls to a hop-dominant middle. The hops used taste floral, and a bit piney. Here we also get sweetness, not unlike butterscotch and toffee. The finish is with the same hops, and is slightly salty. The aftertaste breathes similarly, with hops as the shining flavor, but without that overt hop bitterness. The body is medium and the carbonation is light to medium. The feel is a bit chewy, and the beer both coats (lightly) and cools the mouth. The mouth is left satiated. The abv is on the higher end, but standard, and the beer drinks nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its rich aroma. It smelled very similar to a doppelbock, which plays right to our favorites. It was buttery and roasty and sweetly malty. Additionally, the spiel on the back of the bottle, about being too good for everybody, is awesome. We also liked the fact, as advertised by the bottle, that it is a simple brew, utilizing the most basic and freshest ingredients. This, too, was evident upon tasting, making for an easy going, natural-tasting brew.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had out of a bomber. I think that is the only way it is bottled

A deep Red/Brown color with a good 2 finger not quite white head.

The smell is dominated by some great hops. Earthy/Citrus/Pine balanced perfectly with some caramel and grainy malts

A pine grapefruit gets you in the beginning but as it finishes the caramel toasty malts shine through but just enough to make the citrus hop flavor really stand out for the aftertaste. For how heavy (ABV) it is I want to keep sipping.

Beautiful color/aroma/flavor and finish.

Someone bought this as a gift for me about 5 years ago. It was one of the first really hoppy strong ales I had tried. My appreciation for it has only grown tremendously over those 5 years.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin white head.

S: Lots of citrus hops with some caramel malt.

T: Bready/caramel malt with some citrus/pine hops. A bit of brow sugar/dark fruits is also present.

M: Medium with some prickly carbonation.

D: Medium. Lots of good flavors, but the abv could be a bit much after a few.

Photo of mikeg67
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried it on-tap in a bar. The beer is deep mahogany in color. Aroma is all hops with a slight hint of malt. When you smell it you'll know what's going to hit you: hops, hops, hops. Earthy, woody hops assault the palate right away. Felt like my mouth is burning. Finish is long lasting and all hops. Wow, so good.

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  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.

Photo of tburus
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Muted, transparent red color. Light carbonation. Thin but complete head.

Smell: Initially hoppy and citrusy smell with something indiscernible. As it warmed a cherry aroma really came out.

Taste: Clear hoppy taste. Quick cherry flavor, but not nearly as much as the smell had me hoping for. Bitter.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness largely went away unlike IPAs like 90 Minute. A little too watery for my taste. Nothing very enjoyable lingering in the mouth.

Drinkability: Definitely strong, and if you like hops it is probably up your alley. Alcohol really hits you, though not very present in the nose or taste. Overall, for the price, taste, and fact that it is only in a bomber, I probably won't find myself picking this up too often.

Photo of beerman207
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure how I've never had this beer but started checking the top 100 and foud a few from stone that need a review. Let's start with the bastard!

A: Has a light orange clear color with a 2 inch head that leaves lacing all over the place. Very nice.

S: Hops, sweet malt, caramel

T: Wow - the malt and hops hit at the same time and then my palate is overrun with the bitter hops that linger for an eternity. Wow, this beer is the real deal in terms of bitter.

M: The bitter rings through and warms with the carbonation - couldn't ask for much more here

D: Wow, the bitterness makes me want to sip this one even though the ABV is moderate. Great offering from Stone!

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

Pours a slightly cloudy, red color with 1 finger of head that fades to a thin cap. The aroma is a mix of sweet caramel, brown sugar and a little hint of alcohol. Creamy and full-bodied up front with a lot of sticky sweetness, leading to tons of piney hop bitterness on the back end. The finish is bready and lingering, before becoming more bitter and slightly astringent, but the overall effect leaves you wanting more. This is a big, bold beer with lots of flavor, and quite delicious.

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,279 ratings.