Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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9,272 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,272
Reviews: 2,831
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 299
Gots: 1,300 | 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: 9,272 | Reviews: 2,831 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jporf911
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit, I'm simultaneously nervous and excited about this one. When the label says "You're not worthy" with a bombastic-looking demon holding an overflowing mug, and the bottle cap says "Hated by many; Loved by few", I take that as a challenge, and I never back down from a challenge (unless it involves decapitation or rabid farm animals).

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a traditional glass. No freshness date provided.

Appearance- 4 out of 5. Well, with its almost opaque-brown darkness and ruby hue when held up to the light, it definitely looks demonic. The head is brownish-tan and strong but not overly large. A few swirls around the glass leave nice lacing on the side, and the carbonation bubbles erupt from the bottom with an unnatural vigor that soon subsides, as does the head.

Smell- 5 out of 5. As soon as I cracked open the bottle, before even pouring it, the smell of this beer intrigued me immensely. The bitter hops are coarse but strong, as are the toasted grains from the malt. It's hard to tell exactly what the malt reminds me of, but I'd have to venture caramel as my guess. There is a strong smell of citrus, which is surprising considering how dark the beer is. I also detect green apple and pine. This beer wasn't lying about being aggressive. It smells incredible.

Taste- 4.5 out of 5. It tastes incredible as well. Those "many" who the bottle cap claims hate this beer must have had their tongues cut out (or must have been incorrigible drinkers of Bud Light with no taste for quality beer). The initial taste is toasted caramel malt sweetness and tart citrus on the tongue, followed almost instantaneously by tart apple and smooth chocolate. The finishing note is full of powerfully bitter hops, yet all of the taste continue to mingle on the tongue long after swallowing. I lost track of the alcohol in the cacophonous wave of flavors. It's one hell of a strange combination, but by god, it works.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. Solidly medium, crisp upon entering, wet upon swallowing.

Drinkability- 4.5 out of 5. This stuff is amazing. It has every right to be arrogant. With its complexity and wild flavor, I'm honestly surprised they pulled this off-- surprised and pleased. At $4.49 for a 22oz bottle, it's a damned good deal for a beer of this caliber. It's good enough to make a session out of, but take it slow; a beer like this needs to be enjoyed.

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

I've been meaning to review this one for a while, since it's another mainstay for me.

Arrogant Bastard is aggressive, though it's certainly not the most arrogant beer out there. It succeeds by balancing exaggerated hop intensity with a well-rounded roast of caramel malts and sweet fruity pine flavor. It's a beer made for arrogant bastards like us who idolize high-alcohol hop monsters. Not that this is meant to be a monster in itself, that task can be left to Stone's more specialized projects, like Vertical Epic and Ruination. Arrogant Bastard is just a wholesome little pale ale on crack and PCP. Innocent deep down, but wild and out of control on top.

Ok, enough abstraction. It has a strong maroon color, red bleeding into brown and black. Pours beautifully, with a nice thick tan head and subtle lacing. The scent is lush - it smells like a caramel rainforest. Taste is similar - thick, rich caramel lurks under a barrage of hyperactive hops, which dance across the tongue sparkling with crisp sweet floral flavors. Again, caramel rainforest pretty much sums it up. Mouthfeel is acrid and complex, which turns off a lot of people, though I personally love it.

The first friend you make in hell.

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

A: Dark, caramel color. Poured a 2 finger tan head with excellent retention. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Intense, citrussy hops; pine and green apple. Sweet caramel malt character in the background.

T: Dominant, resiny hop character very consistent with smell. Burnt caramel and biscuits in the middle. Finishes sharply bitter. Balanced nicely.

M: Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny, dry and warming.

D: Good flavor, good balance. I like the flavoring and bitter one-two hop punch. ABV a little rough to be too drinkable (in quantity).

Photo of Brewmiser
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

&Great Beer But holy crap the size of the bottle! I was a few beers in decided to have just one more & want to try another new beer. So I ordered an Arrogant Bastard & the Beastly Beer came in a 1 pint 6 oz bottle.

I wasn't sold on the marketing on the bottle, It's just some winged demon, But I was impressed by the size.
The smell was somewhat hoppy but not too over powering.

The color was A nice dark carmel beer pouring into my mug with a lot of head. A great flavor with a good portion of hops to start out then blending into a sweet fruity carmel flavor. A top 10 beer on my list.

Photo of Baraka
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark shade of brown with a substantial head that leaves beautiful lacing on the glass

S: Carmel, biscuit, citrusy hops. Intense smell.

T/M: Really hoppy to start but finishes with a delicious carmel sweetness. Wow, I'm kind of blown away by this beer. The hop bite is substantial- resiny bitterness abounds, but this is balanced with an impressive malt profile. Thick, complex mouthfeel that really allows the complexity of this brew to shine. A bit of an alcohol warming, but the ABV is concealed rather well with all of the other flavors.

D: This is one of the best beers I've ever had, and if Stone distributed to Missouri, a beer that would regularly be in my fridge. Extremely complex and delicious.

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

A: Pours thick. A darker caramel color, with a larger head that lingers.

S: Hops, hops and more hops, and a bit of citrus.

T: Delicious. A nice grapefruit taste to start off with a fair amount of caramel and maybe a hint of pine.

M: A bit thick, but very enjoyable. Definitely not something to chug down but enjoy.

D: Because it's so big, I don't think I could drink more than a couple of these in a night, but boy does it go down smooth.

Photo of seh410
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark brown/red with very little light making its way through. Thick and fluffy dirty white head. The head looks very creamy.

Aroma: Sweet cotton candy/caramel up front, fruity hops follow. I can smell pineapple and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth and creamy

Taste: Roasted, burnt carmelly malts up front with bitterness at the end. There's also sweetness at the end as well. It isn't too bitter though, I think it very balanced. You can detect the alcohol a little, but it's in no way overpowering or 'too much'.

Notes: I think this is a really great beer, but I split a bomber with two other people and feel like I've gotten my fill. This is definitely something I would seek out again, but not something I would drink in large quantities.

Photo of bbkd3b
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First of all, let me say that I love this bottle. I wonder how many people have actually been alienated by the whole "You probably don't want this" paragraph on the back. Hilarious! Now that I've gotten that out of the way, the review!

A - Pours a color that looks like cherry-wood. Very pretty, and with a 1-finger head the shade of light tan? Please... From the others I've had by Stone, I can say that they make very pretty beers, and this is no different. Great clarity, carbonation, and with good lacing too! Excellent all around.

S - Spruce and hoppiness. Very powerful, really. Apple-like quality to the hops as well, along side with a very slight hint at maltiness. Really quite pleasant.

T - Very aggressive, as I'd expect. Hops to the max all around. There's a sort acidic sourness to it, and that makes a really rough one to drink (though not bad!). Very bitter on the back end. Good overall.

M - Light-bodied and with sparkling carbonation. Feels good on the tongue, and finishes just a smidgen dry. Not surprising considering the hop quality.

D - On one hand, it isn't powerfully alcoholic nor is it too expensive. It is very bitter, though, and it is a rough drinking beer. I'll come back to it, but probably not in the same night.

Overall/notes - Another really good beer from a really good brewery. I actually had this once long ago, before I had any IPAs that I enjoyed, and was put off by it. This go-round was much more pleasant. In fact, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer. I guess I'm an arrogant bastard after all.

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

SMELL: Rich smelling, but light and quick. Sweet caramel malts up front blending so well with bright hops that you can't dissect the two apart. Some dark fruit like prunes and brown sugar.

TASTE: Just like the aroma - an intense blending of bright hops and rich, sweet caramel. They dance back and forth together in a complex, bitter, and entertaining way. Finishes appropriately quickly in a luscious way that demands another sip.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

How has it taken me so long to review this bastard? It pours a translucent dark tawny brown, capped by a finger or so of ecru foam. The nose comprises a good amount of citrus, grapefruity, and piney hops backed by a strong backbone of solid caramel. The taste holds similar characteristics, though all elements are taken to a higher level: hops are large, the maltiness is large...maybe I'm not worthy after all, as I'm not sure how else to describe this flavor combination. The body is a hefty medium, with a moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a beast, yes, but not as beastly as it would have me (or you) believe.

Photo of mzrebiec
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The arrogant bastard is an all around great beer. It is well balanced with plenty of hops for bittering, yet a lot of malt to balance it all out. The mouth feel is right on par and is not anything close to a pale or "yellow fizzy beer."

It is not particularly drinkable because of its strong character. It is however, a nice beer to split amongst friends whilst BS ing.

The arrogant bastard is just what you would expect from Stone. A good go-to beer when you need one, the AB will never let you down.

Photo of Wisconsinality
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into imperial pint.

A- Pours a dark ruby red that is completely transparent. A big two finger's worth of head that sticks around forever and leaves some good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A fair amount of malt but not overpowering. Reminds me slightly of a lager. I pick up a little bit of hops and kind of a weird fishy smell.

T- Malty and biscuity right off the bat. A slight amount of alcohol There is another off taste that I can't really define.

M- Feels slightly thin and the only carbonation seems to come from the head. There is a little heat on the finish from the alcohol.

D- I am about half way through a bomber and am really struggling to finish this. Not a whole lot going on and could use some cooling off.

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







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

A: Pours a deep rubyish brown with a huge, persistent (and I do mean persistent; I couldn't wait and drank some of the foam!) off-white head that fades with good lacing.

S: The hop aroma hits your nose during the pour. It's a bracing fresh citrus hop smell, with just a hint of the underlying malt.

T: To me, this tastes very similar to Yakima Twilight, so let me reiterate what I said there: The hops kiss your tongue all the way on this one. The initial taste is a bracing hop bitterness, with the hop overtones kicking in in the middle. The finish is rather bitter, which renders it rather different from, say, a 90-minute IPA. Personally, I'd like a bit more malt backbone, but I'm not complaining.

M: Medium to full body with lots of happy bubbles.

D: Although I said above that I find the taste similar to Yakima Twilight, Arrogant Bastard is more drinkable due to the lower ABV. Now I must try the various aged versions...

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

red, approaching brown in color. nice slow reducing head.

hops and more hops on the nose, though there is a thin, nutty malt undertone.

Great, great balance of sweet malt and bitter hops. Better with each sip.

goes down easy enough, heavyish mouthfeel. tastes stays with you.

Pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.

Photo of jmarvin4189
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a chocolate brown color with 2 fingers of off white head

Smell - very hoppy, but not overpowering

Taste - A smooth bitter taste. Its interesting how the farther down the glass I got the less bitter the beer was and the more malty it became and then the last sip was bitter once again. It was really interesting.

Mouthfeel - Quite refreshing and smooth with medium carbination

Drinkability - Its the perfect beer to get home from a long day at work and to just sit in your lazy boy recliner and relax.

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

Tried this a few years ago before drinking microbrews and knew I wasn't worthy. This time around I was a much better match for the bastard.

A- Nice dark pour with light creamy head
S- Could smell the caramel malts very well
T- Good heavy taste. Bitter but good balance of malts.
D- Surprisingly goes down rather smooth with a little bite to it.

Never cared to much for the darker strong ales, but this one I liked a lot. Could easily see picking up a bottle or two with friends. Great beer, especially for the price of it.

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

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz brown bomber.

A: Deep reddish brown color with a thick light tan head and moderate lacing.

S: Coarse hops and caramel malts. Some toasted grains.

T&M: Smooth and slightly fluffy texture. The malty sweetness balances the dry, fruity hops. Medium bodied, yet rich, and complex.

Strong ales are not my favorite, but this is the best I've had in this category. Very drinkable and the alcohol is masked very well.

Photo of uustal
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Starts off thick, creamy and malty. Very aggressive flavor here. Next comes a strong rush of hops and a pretty bitter finish. A little overpowering, but a nice full flavor. You're certainly wearing out your taste buds with this one, but it's tough to have a session full of these. It's the type of big beer that Stone is known for.

Photo of Sam21
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a brilliant deep red with a dense off-white head that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Leaves thick rings of lace as the head recedes.

Smell - Fresh citrus hops dominate the nose. Smells really juicy. Big and inviting.

Taste - Bitter grapefruit up front with a nice roasted flavor adding some depth part way through. Finishes with a strong bitterness, which may be perceived as slightly harsh by some. Absolutely not balanced, but that's exactly what Stone was shooting for. The bitterness is bold and assertive in this brew and it is definitely the defining feature. I wish there was more citrus depth to the bitterness as the nose led me to believe. I should say that the malt does hold its own against the onslaught of hops and plays enough of a balancing role to make this another delicious beer from Stone.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full body. Smooth.

Drinkability - For those that aren't into hop bombs, beware. This is right up my alley, although I'd never want to follow this up with anything as it has a pretty aggressive taste. One bomber was plenty as the hops beat my taste buds pretty good, although the bomber went down surprisingly fast. Good work, Stone!

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

Poured from a 650 ml bottle in my standard Stone Brewing "FIZZY YELLOW BEER IS FOR WUSSIES." -Arrogant Bastard Ale pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown hue. Pours a large cascading, frothy brownish head. Settles very slowly leaving giant peaks and craters, and dry sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Substantial sticky lacing coats every inch of the glass as you drink it down.

S: Lightly roasted malt, pine nuts, and a very subtle bittersweet chocolate.

T: Robust malt, bitter hops. Very piny.

M: A touch of sweetness accompanies the bitter which coats and envelopes the entire palette. The steely, dry finish lingers relentlessly.

D: This one is something you'll sip and enjoy. The bitterness compels the issue.

Atmosphere is great. Deep and dark with a great head... a regal appearance. Nose is inescapable. The malt and pine is infectious. Flavor is not complex, but full and heavy. No subtlety or dilution here. Overall, this is a great quaff.

I am not worthy.

Photo of joeland
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

apparance- brown color with an off-white head that goes away quickly leaving a nice looking lacing

smell- a weak hoppy smell with a slit hint of malt.

taste- a hoppy taste that suprised me because the hoppy taste is a lot stronger then the smell was. the deeper i got into the beer the more I got a hint of sweet tastes.

mouthfeel- A smooth carbnation mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I'm set with one twenty-two oz of this.

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

650ml brown bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A. Deep burgundy with with a massive off white bordering on yellowish creamy head.

S. Cherries, hints of banana, raisins, reed berries, a touch of dark chocolate and coffee notes.

T. Bitter chocolate, fruity malt, very hoppy.

M. Chewy - medium bodied

D. An easy drinking ale that doesn't taste 7.2%ABV. Really nice but the alcohol content would slowly creep up on you if you had a couple. Another sublime ale from the guys at Stone.

Photo of mintjellie
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard is a deep red-brown in colour topped with thick french vanilla foam heaped on top. Waiting for the retentive head to die down so I can start drinking it is an excercise in patience, but at least I have all this pretty lace it leaves behind to look at. Has a coarse, piney, citric sort of hop aroma with a hint of raisiny esters underneath. Loads of grapefruit and pine flavour goes toe to toe with toasty, slightly nutty malt and dried fruit esters, with the hops winning the battle. The knockout punch is a blast of coarse, leafy bitterness in the finish. This is a palate destroyer for me, and I like it. Alcohol is just barely noticeable and doesn't contribute any heat or warmth.

It's full body and fine carbonation provide a rich and smooth mouthful. In every way, this full flavoured ale tastes as big as it promises to on the back of the bottle. When I first tried it almost two years ago it was overpowering to me, and today I can say I love it. Great beer.

4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass for $5.50. First pour after the tapping of the keg. Dry hopped with citra.

A: The head filled all but the bottom inch of the glass. After slowly rising and a subsequent pour to push out the remaining head, the beer is served with two fingers of an airy and creamy light cream head. The retention is excellent and the sea foam style lace is immaculate so far. The body is a murky tawny color and completely impenetrable by light. Brown with orange tints.

S: The nose is incredible. The citra dry hopping completely transforms the Arrogant Bastard into a much hoppier brew. By far the most citrus oriented hop bill I've ever had in an American Strong Ale.

T: Literally bursting with citrus and tropical aromas and flavors. Mango, overly ripe peach, clementine, bitter orange pith and white grapefruit. Hops are heavy, bready malts are medium in intensity. The yeast flavors are big too, doughy and earthy with a touch of must.

M: The mouthfeel is slightly lacking which may or may not have something to do with the massive amount of head that is commonplace for the first pour from a keg. Seemingly soft carbonation (almost cask-like) and very smooth on the tongue. Medium-heavy bitterness throughout with a fairly dry finish. Slightly thin body. If the body and carbonation were beefed up, the mouthfeel would score well. Instead, the rating drops to a 2.5.

D: Very good. This is a vast improvement on a pretty good beer to begin with. Mouthfeel aside, I was extremely impressed with this version of Arrogant Bastard.

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,272 ratings.