Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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9,280 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,280
Reviews: 2,834
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: 9,280 | Reviews: 2,834 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jwaks
2.1/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Each time I try this beer, I recall how awful, undrinkable, unpleasing and unbalanced it is. This beer makes me think it is a small west coast american barleywine that may never find a good drinking window. Hop flavor and bitterness is way over the top with some "lip service" malt struggling yet failing horriby to balance the beer. What makes it worse is the assertive and undeniably unpleasant bitterness that lingers far after the first sip. It's anything but pleasing or appetizing making the beer nearly undrinkable.

I admit fully to shitting all over this beer, it's deserved even though it has few small redemeing qualities. One being it's a first in american strong ale craft beers and helped redefine how many americans see and experience beer. I resepect and appreciate what arrogant bastard ale and stone has done to foward craft beer and redefine beer for the majority of beer drinkers. Second, it's an awesome show of american hops even if I disagree with the chosen hop varietys and use; they are clearly at odds with the malt base and their excessive use is way over the top creating disjointed flavors and lack of harmony in the final product.

This beer was not brewed or intended to be a great beer, but only as an over the top small west coast barleywine to match a gimmiky, catchy marketing ploy designed to challenge fizzy yellow beer and micro drinkers alike to try something "better." If there is a FIAT beer, like the US dollar, something that has value only because it or someone says it does, this is it.

Thanks, Stone, but I know you can do better in the American Strong Ale category if you tried to brew a good beer and not sell marketing with a token beer to go with. Please drop the ridiculous, shameless and unecessary marketing and brew a better beer. Sans marketing, a good product sells itself.

Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep amber reddish color, with a thick white head. The smell is strong, mostly hops, kind of a piney citrus aroma. The taste is well balanced caramel and hop taste. The mouthfeel is medium and I would say this beer is drinkable, and yet one of those beers you'd want to sip.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint. enjoy by 01 05 11.

pours out a beautiful looking mahghony with a reddish glow. frothy creamy off white head eventually faded a a nice looking smooth creamy layer. lots of thick lace.

a nice dose of some lovely smelling hops. lots of woody pine, pellet hops balanced so nicely by a sweet caramel toasted malt.

lots of delicious, complex good hopiness but still a nice balance. woody, piney, grapefruit citrus hops with a nice sweet toasty caramel malt. hops definatly are more prevalant than the malts.

resiny oily slick creamy mouthfeel. carb just right.

i could drink this all night, i should definatly visit this more often than i do for a cheap 5$ a bottle. itll catch up to you quick however. highly recommended. ill definatly be back.

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

Had on tap at world of beer, poured into a pint glass

So after reading all the rave reviews, I had to try this bastard they speak of, I went in feeling skeptical (things always turn out better that way) and wow were they right.

A- Red khaki color, medium visibility, nice head that stays long enough for you to ponder your worthiness.

S- Hops, hops, hops, light malt, very slight citrus smell, and hops

T- Similar to the smell, the hops hit you in the mouth in the best kind of way, slight citrus taste (grapefruit or orange perhaps) and a longing for another sip

M- Bubbly and tangy

D- One or two is going to be enough for a night, the high bitterness and medium to high ABV are enough to keep you humble. Overall a great beer though

Photo of 86sportster883
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone's Arrogant Bastard is a big beer with an in-your-face malty, hoppy aroma, and equally aggressive flavor profile. This is a beer snob's beer, in that, its complexity of roasted malt, west coast hops and high abv challenges your senses. Not much of a head on its crystal clear reddish brown body, but a thick lace will follow it right down to the bottom of your glass. This is an intoxicating beer, both literally and figuratively, that will grow on you with each draw. Not for everyone, but definitely a treat when pulled from a freshly tapped keg.

Photo of BBP
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep reddish amber with great carbonation and head retention.

S- Hop bitterness with hints of caramel, malt, hints of grapefruit and pine as well.

T- Bittersweet. Tons of hop flavor; citrus and grapefruit at first and then some pine. Slight amount of malt, and it didn't interfere with the hops and bitterness, but gave the drink a lot more character by being there. More on the bitter side which is how I like it. All aspects of the taste are balanced so well. There are notes of roasted and burnt malts, and it's quite elaborate. Tastes like an IPA base with some of the character you see in porters. Coffee and chocolate were deep in this one and quite subtle.

M- Creamy and smooth. Medium full body. Slightly dry and sticky finish.

D- Aggressive taste, while easy to drink and even subtle at times. The cockiness on the back of the label was justified. There is 7.2% of alcohol in it, but I forgot about that with all the flavor. This drink is quite impressive, and I think I prefer it over their OAB. I'm not sure that Stone has or will make a beer which isn't exceptional.

Photo of 9InchNails
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Arrogant Bastard on tap at the Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant in South Orange, NJ

Reddish amber in color. A nice, more on the white side of khaki color head. Looks quite creamy as the head settles. A noticable amount of lacing on the glass.

Not really impressed with the smell maybe a slight metalic aroma and hoppy.

Smooth and creamy. Carbonation isn't over the top. Leaves the mouth dry.

This is quite bitter. The hops are very noticable, smacks you right in the face! I think they're some subtle dry fruits... maybe grapes? Very piney. A slight boozy taste, there's a pretty high alcohol content to not notice the taste.

Quite heavy for an ale after it sits. Maybe one or two of these, that's it!

I've had this in a bottle before but it's a whole new experience and a lot better on tap. Less of the metalic flavoring and smell when it is on tap, so it's more enjoyable.

Photo of depechemode1983
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard size pint glass (Smuttynose pint glass)

Appearance - Beautiful mahogany color. Tan head with good consistency. Sticks around for good amount of time. Nice lacing going on. No Visible carbonation.

Smell - Citrus hops up front. Smells like grapefuits and a little bit of pine in the background. Smells sweet and citrusy. Well balanced.

Taste - This beer is bitter sweet. Citrus hops smash your palate at first but then the malts come in nicely to balance it out. Alcohol is minimally present in the taste.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, smooth, slightly bubbly. Love it.

Drinkability - Although very delicious I couldnt see drink too many of these. The taste could become a little bit overwhelming and the ABV is substantial.

Notes - Excellent offering from Stone brewing company. Also widely available. At 3.49 a bomber its a bargain. Thats only a dollar more than a 24oz BMC product at most convenience stores.

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

This is just delicious. And $5 for a bomber...Can't go wrong.

It's a deep reddish/brown beer with the slightest hint of haziness. A medium white head thins out to a layer of bubbles on top. This is a fine looking beer.

The hops really dominate the nose, but it's backed up pretty well. You can sense a real strong malt backbone, but the citrusy hop aroma lets you know what's coming.

It turns out to be a somewhat complex beer, still dominated by bitter hops and a lingering citrusy sort of flavor. It's a good one.

This drinks and feels good. It's not too high in alcohol, and really doesn't pose issues with finishing a bomber in an evening. This is a fine beer, if you ask me.

Photo of swede96
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 32 oz glass I picked up in Barcelona Spain while in the Navy back in 1976.
Poured entire bomber bottle into glass, it poured a wonderful 2" offwhite head that stuck to the sides of the glass and did not go away. Beer was a beautiful dark amber in the glass.
Smell had a nice hoppy tint.
Taste was great, very smoothe start with a nice, but not overpowering hop finish that left me ready for another sip of this awsome brew.
Mouthfeel was a pleasant medium, and drinkability was great. Great brew...

Photo of anotherpg
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What? This is a double? I wouldn't have noticed until the ABV hit me.

This is a fantastic well balanced brew. Classic appearance, good smell, excellent taste and feel. Most importantly, for a big bold craft brew, you can really drink it. It's outstanding and a must have for any serious craft snob.

Photo of turnerr79
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle from Fred Meyers in WA State.

Deep reddish brown pour, solid frothy head that stayed around to chat for a while. You lacing fans will be happy with this one, though I don't personally believe lacing matters.

Nose is nothing special, sour bar room stale keg odor. Oh, but the first sip was spectacular! Bold malt and bitter hops that will give you goosebumps. Several other notes round off this ale.

Mouthfeel is med-heavy, but balanced well with the mild carbonation.

Aftertaste is of those complex notes I spoke of (and I'll gag if anyone describes those notes as chocolate or cocoa, because they are not.)

Watch out! The 7.2 abv will sneak up on you.
This just might be my new favorite ale.

Photo of birchstick
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pours a brownish red with a nice head

S - loads of citrus and pine hops and cereal malts

T - Starts off with a ton of piney, bitter hops with a hint of citrus that is balanced a little bit by some cereal and caramel malt. Very bitter finish.

M - a medium to full body with perfect carbonation that goes down smoothly

D - I finally deemed my self worthy enough to bring this beer to my lips. This is pretty much how I expected it to be - a lot of hoppy bitterness without much balance. Pretty good, I don't know if I am worthy enough for it, though. I'd drink it again, but would much prefer something else from the Stone arsenal.

Photo of cetherid
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass.


a hazy copper color. A little over a fingers worth of frothy offwhite head that looks great.


big time caramel malts. A little roasted smell to them. A little piny and floral hop smells in there. Not picking up the citrusy hops that others are getting.


A hoppy caramelly beer with lots of bitterness. More of the piny hops than anything else. Reminds me a little of an Alpha King that's a bigger malt bomb. Nothing what I was expecting. Like a malty IPA essentially.


medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. The bitterness drys out the tongue a bit.

ok considering the price and availability. Doubt I'd drink a whole bomber myself. 1 pint is more than enough. definitely try it again, but there are others I'd choose first.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber copper with a 2 finger foamy off-white head with excellent retention.

S - Fresh grapefruit citrus, earthy pine, plums, toasted malt

T - A bounty of fresh grapefruit rushes in with huge flavor and bitterness. A resiny pine shows up towards the finish. The caramel malt has a roasted fruit character and provides just enough sweetness to counteract the complex hops. Aftertaste is nutty and bitter with the malt still lingering on the palate.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation.

A citrus wonderland along with a carameled fruit malt makes mouth happy. Complex hop profile that keep going and going. Just an awesome brew.

Photo of herman77
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Parents brought this back from San Diego. Just noticed the best by date was 11/8/10, should be just fine still.

A: Very dark copper/rust color. Pretty hazy too. Thick light tan head that has great retention. Great sticky lacing.

S: Mainly carmel and toffee malt. A hint of grapefruit hops, but more sweet malt than anything.

T: Whoa, this is a lot hoppier than I thought it would be. A little bit of carmel malt to start, but then the resinous pine hops take over right after that. Tons of bitter, bitter hops in the finish. I thought this would be more balanced with an emphasis on hops, but this is pretty much all Strong and very bitter hops. Again, it kind of reminds me of there IPA with just a touch more malt.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation, but it does feel pretty smooth and slightly creamy.

D: A bomber to myself is a little too much. A little disappointed, not what I thought it would be. The abv is hidden by the onslaught of hops.

Photo of ChadQuest
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear Reddish amber pour with a robust healthy head and lacing.
Sugary floral and caramel on the nose, i can really smell the malt sweetness. hops arn't really strong, but the best Before date is still a month away.
Flavor is strong and dominant in a balanced sort of way, there is some cascade style hops, caramel malts, strong candied dark fruits that come off bittersweet, and cotton candy.
Mouth feel is sticky chewy medium body that lingers and coats
with a medium carb.

This is an average beer for me, nothing huge stands out and makes it super desireable. I've consumed 3 bottles now, that will probally be it.


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

A friend gave me this beer, I tought it would be a good idea to keep it in the cellar for a few months, wich I did...can't really say if it changed anything because its actually the firts time I get to drink it. My girlfriend and I are having a little dinner and we just finish a Coureur des Bois from les Frères Houblon of Trois-Rivières and the next beer we have is a Porter Baltic from Trois Mousquetaires, I just tought we needed a little something in-between...I then found the Arrogant Bastard Ale.
Served in a round tulip glass, this beer gives a great fluffy head but after a few minutes, there's not much of it left at the top of the beer.
It has a dark but clear redish color with a few sediments at the bottom of the bottle...I like that !! Swerling the glass gives a quick and healthy rebirth to the foam.

This beer smell great ! Some Grain esters top with caramel and dried fruit notes. You get a powerfull hop smell as well so hints of pine and citrus fruits aswell...Like I said, this beer smells great!

Its an Ale right so the Carbonation must be very soft and gentle and its exactly what happening. It has a creamy texture and a massive hop bitterness attack rich in grapefruit and grain sugar. The palate just goes so well with the smell, no suprises here ! This beer has a long lasting bitter mouthfeel
and the balance between sugar and bitterness is just great.
I had a Blast with this beer. I normaly dont drink to many beers from the US microbreweries simply because in Québec our beer selection at the SAQ is just awfull.
I would like to have this beer again, but I just dont know how and where to find it.
Thanks for the gift !

Cheers Lads


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

Aromas of caramel malts and fruity hops. Light pine and tropical fruit.

The tastes is bitter up front with lots of West Coast hops; all kinds of pine and grapefruit. Mixed in are some light caramel and bready malts, but not much. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty good strong ale. A little much on the bitterness for my liking but definitely a great brew none-the-less.

Photo of polio
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i loved drinking this beer.
the label is so funny.
this beer is a legend in my life. all of my friends always talked it up so one day i finally decided to try it. and... I LOVED IT.

this is a beer that goes down smooth and taste great.
kinda expensive but its worth it in my opinion.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 22oz bomber. Poured into a pint.

A: Pours a wood resin brown with an off white head.

S: Spicy hops and big bruising malts.

T: Taste follows the smell, its big and earthy with muted hops and malts and a hint of alcohol.

D: Drinkable, but strong flavoured. Its got a chewy, rich mouthfeel.

Overall: A nice beer. Its warming and well-balanced. A nice rich treat that goes especially well with a full-flavoured spicy meal and nice cold evening.

Photo of WTBash
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a really great beer. It pours a thick red-brown color with and eggshell head. the smell is complex, almost distractingly so. It has rich aromas of citrus, pine, and malt. Taste-wise, its bitter but in a way that detracts from the beer; the hints of fruit and barley come through brilliantly. It's thick as to be expected, and its very drinkable for a strong ale. Stone thought it would be a good idea to add double of EVERYTHING and it works amazingly well. Perhaps the only reservation I have with the beer is a blatantly (if not provocatively) condescending ad campaign, which fits.

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

Have to give props to the bottle and artwork. Poured from bomber into glass a nice dark amber color with a nice one finger head. Head dissipates rather quickly with minor lacing.

Light aroma of pine and hops, not overpowering.

Delicious taste, great hop flavor with a slight malt backbone. Smooth mouthfeel makes it easy to drink for hop lovers. Highly recommend.

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

The intimidation starts even before the bottle has even been opened. Quoting the essay on the back of the bottle, it warns, "This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it." It then proceeds to berate both the reader and "fizzy yellow beer" throughout the paragraph. Sarcasm aside, for more than half the drinking age adults in the country, the bottle is probably right. This is an aggressive beer from a company known for aggressive beers.

Arrogant Bastard was an extreme beer before the term existed. The style "American Strong Ale" is just a catch-all for high-alcohol beers that refuse to fit into another style, but this beer is essentially a strong barleywine. An English barleywine is typically malt driven, being more sweet than bitter. An American barleywine, like many things American, is more bitter than sweet. This is certainly closer to the latter. It has a healthy dose of malt and body but a more than generous amount of hop bitterness that easily takes center stage. Even after the beer has left your mouth, the residual bitterness lasts as a reminder of the pleasurable pummeling your palate endured.

For anyone that manages to make it through the entire bottle alive, there is always Double Bastard left to conquer. The first lines of the tome on that bottle read, "This is one lacerative muther [sic] of a beer. It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory..."

Photo of aranheaney
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a DFH snifter:

Small confession, I've been holding off on any Stone product for a while, but thought it was time to jump in, and oh am I glad I did!

A-Pours lovely dark chestnut, nice two fingers of hear that really hold up

S-Bright Floral, citrus, just incredible

T-Warm and toasty upfront, clean throughout and a wonderful finish

M-see above

D-very high, the ABV doesn't detract...

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,280 ratings.