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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,380 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,380
Reviews: 2,856
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 311
Gots: 1,429 | 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: 9,380 | Reviews: 2,856 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from Abe's of Bethlehem, PA. $5.

A- Moderately dark translucent amber hue. Thick off-white head fading to a thin layer. Lots of lacing down the side of my St. Bernadus chalice.

S- Hoppy and smooth caramel.

T- Phenomenal. Piney hops. Rich caramel malt. very diverse range of sophisticated flavors ranging from fruity to dark and sweet.

M- Very well balanced. Good carbonation and a slight bitter aftertaste.

D- Very drinkable. Don't let the gargoyle or text on the bottle deceive you. This beer I could drink all night!

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite offerings from Stone, and I love all 3 versions of the Bastard!

A: Pours a dark red color with a decent head

S: Hoppy, but not overly so

T: Same as the smell

M: Pretty dry, but well carbonated

D: The category says it all: strong ale

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a massive head which took a long time to dissipate but ended up a trace. Deep russet brown color. IPA smell and taste. Bitter hops, caramel, fruits. Initially I thought the finish was kind of mild but then it really persisted on and on.

Despite the hype it's really just a dark IPA. Yes it's good, but the name goes a long way toward earning the cult following.

Photo of Retsinis
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. Bomber.

The bottle art alone is unmistakable, along with the long "epitaph" like statements on the back.

On Appearance, it pours a dark copper-brown in color with a good few inches of head that retains well. The head is sticky throughout, and hold to the glass wall. Cloudy haze is also noticeable, even though it is a dark brown.

On Aroma, caramel malt scents are present, but the hops are the most upfront to me. Citrus and grapefruit being the most prevalent.

On Taste, just as with the nose, smooth caramel malt flavor up front, quickly followed by citric hops, finishing with roasted malt notes. The Toasty notes linger on the palate as well, as does the sharp hop flavor.

On Mouth feel, medium, with a light amount of carbonation, but the hop bite make up for that. Alcohol is less noticeable to me, but my ABV average is about 8% lately anyway.

It is quite drinkable.

While the beers reputation is such an established one in the craft beer scene, in my humble opinion, the recipe has been a bit eclipsed by other similar beers in the last few years, but on its own, it is still a solidly good beer, with its flavor profile still being almost unmistakable.

Photo of JHamm
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Slight piney smell with floral and caramel notes.

Taste: More malty than I'm used to in an IPA but the hops balance well. Again, piney hop flavor that is balanced well by the hops. Nice after taste.s

Mouthfeel: Nice smooth mouthfeel. malts and hops both linger in good balance

Drinkability: One bomber will do the job well but I have to convince myself to stop there. Excellent job Stone.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Head. Fantastic lacing. Big Bubbles. The head doesn't dissipate immediatiely. The beer is dark brown in color and opaque.

Smell: The malts are caramel in smell with hints of molasses. bright floral hoppy notes blend very well. I like the malted flavor of this beer. This is different from IPA's in that respect. The beer isn't astringent in character but rather seems approachable

Taste: Same as above but wow does this beer sit well on my palate. This beer is very sweet but still has a slight hoppy bitterness There is a good balance between the malts and hops. This beer really gives the drinker a sense of the potential of good malts in a beer. The beer finishes sweet and doesn't linger at all. This beer packs a heavy punch but still taste very good.

Mouthfeel: This is good stuff. This beer is full and foams up in my mouth when I swish it around. It's chewy and smooth. This is a great wintertime drink. I can really appreciate a beer like this which doesn't leave me wondering if it has anything to deliver other than a watery taste.

Drinkability: Yep. This beer really delivers. Don't be intimidated by it's name or the menacing looking gargoyle on the bottle. I suppose this beer is wicked in a sense that it really has some strong memorable characteristics. I suppose those strong qualities make it "arrogant". This is a great example of a well made American Strong Ale. I would recommend this beer as a gift to those who you would like to introduce to the fine world of craft beers.

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

22oz bomber. Pours a dark rust color with a thin frothy head. Some lacing. Nice hoppy aroma. Picking up on pineapple and citrus fruits. Taste is a nice blend of hops with tropical and citrus fruit flavors. Malt flavors as well. Bitter aftertaste. This is a full bodied beer that packs a good amount of flavor while not being to boozey. At $5.50 this beer is a great value for the amount of flavor and hops you get.

Photo of IanCAnderson
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

A - Looks a gorgeous translucent brown-red as its pours into the glass. Big foamy head and lacing that LASTS.

S - Big, complex nose with hops dominating.

T - Flavor explosion. This guy earns his name. Again, the taste is pretty complex, but piney hops and the sting from the alcohol were dominant and fighting for my attention. As I swallow, the sweetness of the malt shines through, though it's still in the shadow of the huge hops. I wouldn't call this a balanced beer. Also, I tasted carrots after I burped. Not sure if that's relevant.

M - Pucker power. Feels thinner than I expected from the appearance, but it's not watery. Just enough carbonation for my taste. The alcohol and carbonation pair up to make for an exciting tingle factor.

D - Not exactly a session beer... I'd say it's a good beer to start off a night with, before switching to something a bit less arrogant. Though depending on the next beer, you might mistake it for water after tasting this beast.

Photo of Chizoad
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had this beer in ages. I was not prepared the first time I drank it. Hated it. 2nd go, I am prepared but still I find it a little too much. Arrogant indeed.

Stupendous pour. Dark brown liquid with small bits of gold around the edges. Huge creamy tan head that sticks around until you decide to rinse out the glass.

The smell doesn't even hint at what is to come. Very quiet with only some suggestion that there's malt in this. The color has to tell you otherwise unless it's like that caramel-color-added Newcastle crap. I guess there's some subtle hop aroma too.

The flavor is nearly overwhelming in bitterness. At first there's a pleasant malt flavor, but within seconds that is obliterated by a deep resinous sticky bitterness. Not a lot of complexity in the hops here either. Imagine licking a sap-filled pine tree, but in a good way. Don't get your tongue stuck.

The carbonation is so-so. For the style it's ok, but I prefer it a little less fluffy. The real downer though is the persistent bitterness. No remorse in this one.

Drinkability is ok. Expect to finish your bomber and stop after that. Unless you accidentally purchased a double jeroboam and are by yourself on a Friday night, to which I say good luck sir. See you in the afterlife.

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

A- pours a rich dark amber hue. 1/2'' of chunky head, mild lacing.

S- Blast of tropical hops. Orange and pineapple are most forward. Light toasted malt undertones.

T- Lots of fruit upfront. some pine and bitterness in the mid to end. Malt is dry and bready & slightly roasted. Very hop forward.

M- Slightly chewy. Bitterness does absorb palate. starts wet and gradually dries. could use a little more body.

D- Very easy to put down a bomber. No alc presence. A smooth drinker. Made writing a term paper much more enjoyable.

Photo of gregshead
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 11/21/10 from notes:

A: Reddish orange and good finger and half of head.

S: Sweet malts with some faint hop smells.

T: Some of the sweetness reminds me of a red ale with some fruit qualities. Difference is the hop level is more like an APA. The hops themselves taste much more foreign than an APA though.

M: Modest carbonation, a little on the syrupy side.

D: While I don't find it that arrogant or bastardly, I still enjoyed drinking it. One of the harder beers to review for me but it's because all of the flavors are blending well and somewhat unique in my opinion.

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

appearance - transparent but very dark amber, excellent retention, big foamy head, sticky lacing

smell - a combination of floral hops and sweet malts

taste - bold hop/alcohol/malt taste, medium complexity, the hops dominate the flavor, imperial ipa notes present

mouthfeel - medium/full body, oily and slick, very dry finish

drinkability - the hop profile is tasty and nice, the alcohol is very strong but blends well with the other flavors

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

Almost a tequila sunrisey banded orange-amber-red appearance. Opaque at the darker bottom, lighter colors thin out at the top after the creamy beiege head settles. Sweet, sticky taste of dried apricot with a very malty, long bitter finish. Medium body with mid-range carbonation. Alcohol is very subtle for a high ABV ale. An exceptional brew.

Photo of goalie33
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into 16oz pint glass.
A: Large, creamy, off white head on top of a red/amber colored beer. Leaves nice lacing in the glass. Little to no carbonation.
S: Citrusy hops
T: Citrusy hops balanced very well with a malty finish. Nice lingering bitterness.
M: Medium body with a very soft mouthfeel.

This beer wastes no time in making its presence known. The hop flavors hit you as soon as the beer enters you mouth and is balanced nicely with a malty finish.

Photo of Andreji
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So another one along the lines of Stone, a brewery i've been able to test on various occasions. this time, a 66cl bottle brought from overseas by a good friend and fellow beer lover.

As has happened to me before with the stone brews, the visual aspect is the best of it. Not only starting from its bottling, but the actual pour (into a trappe chalice on hand) is a barely translucent red-brown, almost viscous with a frothy brownish head, fairly thick with a generous lacing left behind.

Smell right off hits you, it's hops, hops and hops, very much in-line with the american style of strong ales. Some caramel-ish flushes come around from within the piney, hoppy feel. nice and complex.

The taste is good but a bit overwhelming. It has a very distinct syrupy feel at first, rather malty and driven to the total, extreme opposite of what overtakes it within seconds- an extremely robust bitterness that almost numbs the palate instantly. While it may hold for a solid pint, the IBUs certainly hit me super-hard and it would be tough to sip and session this one. It also lacks the distinct woody musky feel the OAB has, which certainly makes it a better beer in my opinion. Nonetheless, this one is quite a worthy sample of its style, and a good beer by Stone.

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

on tap at the spot in point.

Pours a deep red with cherry and burnt hues. A larger off-white head bubbles up, retains well, and leaves crazy amounts of lacing on the glass.

A nice bouquet of dark dried fruit, burnt sugar, hop bitterness, and a hint of alcohol in the nose.

Begins with a nice punch of hop bitterness, followed by a faint sweetness due to dark fruit. An earthy malt backbone supports the beer with brown sugar and caramel. Hints of cherry peek through. Another wave of bitter hops continue towards the end, along with a faint bite of alcohol.

Fuller medium body, a little dry and sticky feel, but very drinkable. The alcohol is masked really well, and you can easily have a couple of these before feeling satisfied. One of my favorite regularly available strong ales.

Photo of ramseye4
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the first beers to get me hooked on craft.

Aggressive pour into a SN pint glass yields a spectacular looking two finger head that sticks around, best retention I have seen in a long time. Beer is a reddish brown color, very enticing, the head is beautiful. Aroma is hoppy, with a sweet fruity smell, and some grain. Taste is very sweet and oily, hop bitterness coming through in the end and staying through the aftertaste, the toasted grain really comes out in the taste. Mouthfeel is very sticky, medium bodied. Drinkability is average, this is a good beer but not one I'd want to have more than one or two of in a night as a result of a moderately high ABV and the sweetness

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a frothy dark red from a 22 oz bottle with ABV, the gargoyle and 'best-by' date on the label. Nice thick head which dissipates very slowly with very good lacing. Aroma is heavy on the hops with hints of sweetness. Taste is an oily mix of hops, sweet caramel notes and more hops. It's a solid, 'in your face' ale. Taste gets better as the beer warms up. Highly recommended

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

22 oz bomber into a pint glass

Appearance: Mostly clear deep red/reddish brown color with a half-finger off-white head that left full rings of foamy lace.

Smell: Toasted grains and dried fruity esters, but the hops definitely announce their presence.

Taste: Caramel malty sweetness nicely counters the aggressive hop bitterness. Fruity esters become more apparent as the beer warms. Grainy dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied yet still reamy and makes you feel full. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Alcohol warmth is barely noticeable; this is one of the more drinkable strong ales I've enjoyed.

Photo of Duttonic
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 11/21/10. 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A- One finger tan head, burnt orange hue, lots of bubbling, mild/moderate lacing.

S- Earthy, hoppy, peanuts, oily (in a good way).

T/M- Hoptastic, bitter, medium body, smooth finish. Robust without an overpowering alcohol presence for the actual content.

D- Just like it says, aggressive. I love it. Great finish with just enough bitter bite to keep hop heads entertained. I will make this one of my staple go to beers.

Photo of smm
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A fine bomber cracked to celebrate my birthday while relaxing with some music. Poured into a Bell's tulip.

A- Pours a deep red color, a white head leaves lacing around the edges.

S- Smell is fantastic crisp and hoppy, sweet and fruity with wisps of alcohol.... Brings me back to California.

T- The hops are definitely noticeable but its balanced out nicely with the malty backbone. Leaves you with a lingering hoppiness.

M- Medium body, carbonation hits you in the back of the throat. Tingles on the tip of the tongue through the sip. Quite dry at the end, it is a beer that reminds you of its presence.

D- I could drink this all day. My brother is a good enough man to get a keg of this for his wedding, I can only hope to do the same.

I'd love to pair this with some spicy fish tacos and mango salsa. One day I'll live near the coast.... One day.

Photo of elton044
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This particular brew itself proclaims "you're not worthy." We'll see.

This proclamation should be respected. I have taken the Stone Brewing Company tour in Escondido, California and I am his.

My Los Angeles-transplant brother, Nick, opened my eyes to this bit of hops enlightenment. While on the brewery tour at Stone, I had the dubious pleasure of being the "lucky" soul singled out to ingest the concentrated hop pellet that they utilize, in front of all my fellow tourmates no less. Arrogant Bastard? Yeah, something like that.

The hop notes of this take-no-prisoners creation permeate all aspects from smell to aftertaste. Is that a bad thing? No, I say!

The pour into my less than ideal pint glass was pleasantly dark and full of a rich, hoppy aroma with just a hint of roasted barley. The somewhat thin, light tannish to beige head spread its legs down the rim of my glass wholly without shame. Get the idea?

The smell? Hops. Fruit notes? No. Hops. Citrus notes? Not really. Hops. Caramel notes? Nope. Hops. Savvy? This offering will arrive at your nose with an unkempt gang of hops in tow and will NOT apologize for doing so... and I wouldn't have it ANY other way!

The mouth feel and taste are both quite aggressive, as advertised. The hoppy flavor will latch onto your palate and won't let go. Delightful. However, this is a product you must be in the mood for. What it lacks in sheer drinkability, it more than makes up for in "shock value" and intensity. I find that one to two 22 ounce bottles are more than enough to satiate my beer desires in a given session.

This level of brew could only benefit from barreling/aging. Thankfully, the good folks at Stone have concocted the Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale varietal. I look forward to trying this particular creation soon...

Photo of Bombers4Benedict
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A plum color, almost purple body. Nice thick off white tannish head sticks to glass nicely creating a thin but nice lacing.

S - Although there is a sweet fruity aspect to this brew the malty, barley side takes over. This has a very natural beer smell if that makes any sense. not to overdone with ingredients and processes.

T - Smooth, yet bitter. Once again, there are hints of a caramel sweetness but the full bodies malt aspect is what drives this brew. There is definately an alcohol bite to this one as well.

M - This one is very thick, definately leaves a couring on the mouth/tongue. Overall, well done.

D - I would come back to this beer eventualy, but maybe not right away as there are no individual qualities that demand its consumption over other beers. In a night, this beer is heavy enough where I would have to keep it at a pint or two.

Photo of SamuelJackson45
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark amber body with a white head thin lacing.

S- Smell of strong hops and spices with citrus notes.

T-Taste of citrus notes and spices strong and boozy.

M- Semi-dry grainy with strong cirtus and hope lingering through out sip.

D- Strong beer pretty good for my first time. Will try again.


Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,380 ratings.