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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,392 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,392
Reviews: 2,858
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 317
Gots: 1,444 | 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: 9,392 | Reviews: 2,858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CountJustinian
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
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
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
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.


Photo of Jwaks
2.14/5  rDev -48.6%
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
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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
3.16/5  rDev -24%
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
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
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
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,392 ratings.