Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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9,276 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,276
Reviews: 2,833
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 299
Gots: 1,303 | 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: 9,276 | Reviews: 2,833 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip. Best by date of June/2010, so we should be good to go on this one. Drank at probably 50 degrees and up.

I should point out, it's absolutely ridiculous that after almost 650 ratings, I'm just now reviewing this beer, one of the true stalwart pioneers on the scene. Duvel is, I think, the only other beer so conspicuously absent from my ranks, and it's a safe bet that that one will also be rectified soon enough.

Anyway, on to the beer: pours a deep ruby brown, beautiful color, with a one-finger tan head that literally lasts forever. Just phenomenal retention from this one. Solid walls of lacing.

Nose is nice and full. Nice, robust citrusy hop note well with a toasty malt body carrying just a bit of cocoa, and a a nip of caramel. Light alcohol comes through as well.

Taste is almost perfectly balanced - starts off with toasty malt, just a bit of caramel, sitting just underneath a soft, grapefruit rind-like hop bitterness that lasts from beginning to the very end. Burst of fruity esters towards the back of the palate. Finish is dry, with a firm, lightly astringent bitterness that carries through with a lingering toasted caramel presence as well.

Mouthfeel is dry, a bit creamy, medium-full bodied with a very nice, almost fluffy carbonation.

Bitterness got to me a bit - drinkability takes a bit of a hit as a result. Just lingers a hair too long for me. Still, an all time classic that has held up pretty well.

Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this 5 or 6 times now, in the bottle and on-tap. First a prelude: This was the first craft beer I ever had. I was instantly drew to the name, artwork, the speech on the back, that it used only natural ingredients, and admittedly, the alcohol content. I drank my bomber out of a paper bag while watching the fireworks with some friends. I was intrigued enough to start buying more of these "cool" beers, looked them up on Google, found BeerAdvocate, and the rest was history. Onto the review -

Bomber to a pint glass. Pours very dark red with a huge fluffy beige head. Shrinks down to 1-finger and stays there the entire beer, excellent retention. Leaves decent lacing. The smell lets out some nice citrus and dark fruit, and some bread scents. The taste is great - hops are assaulting at first but seem to hold back after the first few sips and let the flavors shine. Pine, caramel sweetness, candied bread, grapefruit and plum are tastes I pick up. There is some alcohol bite that shows up now and then. The mouthfeel is good, but feels a little watery and unbalanced after having Double Bastard not too long ago. Still there is a nice creaminess. A bomber is plenty for this beer, lots of palate assaulting going on. I love this beer, I will continue to get every once in a while.

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

Presentation: It was poured from brown 1pt. 6oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has the abv at 7.2%, there is no freshness date and there is an amusing description arrogance, there beer and there brewery.

Appearance: The beer has a beautiful dark ruby red hue with good clarity and a creamy light tan head. The thick creamy head has good retention and slowly fades to a thin cap of frothy foam. From this head I get lots of cool lacing and lace rings on the glass.

Smell: It has a big juicy citrusy hop presence over nice bready maltiness in the background.

Taste/Palate: There is a good solid mix of bready, caramely, grainy malt with loads of juicy of citrusy, grapefruity, lemony, and piney hop notes. The hops bring solid bitterness which slowly fades off the tongue deep into the finish. The palate has a firm yet still easy drinking texture with active carbonation and a good solid medium to full body.

Notes: This is one very tasty, well crafted flagship beer.

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish mahogany hue, off-white head, huge blanketing lacing.

S - There is an unwelcome aroma in the nose, I didn't write it down when I could specifically identify it, so as of now it is just a generally unwelcome aroma taking down the overall dynamic.

T - The taste is simply malt and hop, and quite unspectacular. The hop is nice on the outro, and that about sums up the highlights of the taste for me.

M - Big feel, viscous, well-carbonated.

D - Like a average Sierra Nevada product. Yes, a average. I didn't learn me not no nothing in school. That didn't stop me from preparing for the BA misspelling bee, with my eyes on the prize.

Photo of Ragedman
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reading all the reviews of Arrogant Bastard I was expecting this wonderful beer full of flavor and easy drinkability. Arrogant Bastard is full of flavor. Grapefruit and hops are the most powerful. At first the taste is smooth and once finished a bitter taste lingeres in the back of your mouth. From the outside Arrogant Bastards looks and smells amazing. Dark orange/brown color and I found it to smell very sweet with some hoppy overtones. What set me back was the drinkabilty toward the end of the 22oz bottle. It started to taste like dandilion flowers and had warmed up a bit much. Needless to say for anyone looking for a strong ale with alot of flavor Arrogant Bastard hits the mark.

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

I've been drinking this one since the late nineties, back when Stone was a tiny production brewery in San Marcos. Figure it's time to finally review it. Pours a moderately hazy chocolate brown color, with ruby highlights and a big mocha head. Aromas of milk chocolate, piney hops and just a hint of citrus. On the palate, I get a lot more piney/citrusy hops, along with caramel and cocoa. This has been a really good beer for a really long time. Very nice.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap at the Old Mohawk in Columbus, Ohio in a pint glass.
A: Ruby brown with a huge cream head that diead to a creamy lace, leaving rings on the glass.
S: Hoppy caramel, grapefruit citrus, and creamy with rum alcohol and blackberries.
T: Caramel sweet malts with a hoppy alcohol aftertaste. Overall, it's creamy with a bite.
M: Slightly syrupy and creamy with a bite.
D: Pretty good for the style.

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

This beer poured a honey amber with a 1 finger high off white head. There's some nice head retention with thick lacing all around the glass. Slowly drifted down to a thin layer, still fully covering the beer. The bubbles appear to be quite lively and resulted with a medium carbonation feel. The initial smell of the beer was that of dark fruits, pine, malts, and citrus hops. The initial taste of the beer was that of pine, malts, slight citrus (possibly grapefruit), and hops. The alcohol does not seem to be apparent . The brew finished bitter and dry, with a slight wheaty and dark fruit flavor. The after taste was a rather pleasant hoppiness that I have come to love thanks to IPA styles. The beer has a medium to full body.

The first time I had this beer (several months ago) I was definitely not prepared for it. What I have to say is that I actually really like it this time around, especially that bitter and dry bite it has. I think Stone has some of the best priced bombers and the quality of the brews is always excellent and refreshing. However, given that it does have the bitter and dry bite, it receives a lower drinkability factor because it requires more time for savoring and sipping. Excellent beer, a must pour if you're a beer lover!

Photo of jkempe11
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Honestly, I drank one of these a long time ago when I was just young and naïve... But now that I am a much more experienced beer drinker, I had to try it again. I have learned to love hoppy beer, so I wanted to give it a shot and see what I would think now that I know what to look for.

Appearance - this beer is a deep reddish color. Very dark, almost mahogany. Some dark orange notes.

Smell - Honestly, everything. I can smell bready malts, I think. And citrusy hops.

Taste - Just strong and great. Hops upfront, the alcohol and bitterness appears in the back.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and syrupy in the mouth. Great texture.

Drinkability - It's ruinous, but at the same time very drinkable. I feel like I could drink a few of these, but then again I know my tastebuds would just be ruined.

Photo of nicnut45
3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

A-Deep dark red color almost purple looking. A fat fine beady head. Great retention. One of the best.

S-Smells awesome. Fresh hop aroma gives away to burnt brown sugar molasses type scent. Just wish it was stronger.

T-A big hop flavor. But it tastes too similar to there regular I.P.A. Lots of burnt sugar flavors, wasnt expecting the hop overload. Hops dominate and dont really go to well with the burnt flavors in my book. Kind of leaves me dry mouthed and unhappy especially with all the esteem surrounding this beer and there arrogant bastard attitude.

M.F. Great M.F. Very full carbonation sustains throughout the session. Full and meaty. Liquid bread.

D-Wont do it again. Cant stand the headache hops.

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

Picked this up at Lakeview Binny's for $3.99(!). Enjoy by March 15th, 2010, so this is about a month old. Served in my Stone Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - Pours a lovely transparent dark caramel-orange color. There's a huge three fingers of tan foam that dissipates to a thick cap and leaves intricate patterns of lacework.

S - Aggressive piny and floral hops, notes of orange, with perhaps a touch of soapiness. There's a hefty malt backbone full of toffee, spicy fresh-baked bread, and brown sugar.

T - Taste is chock full of piny bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Mid-palate there is an eruption of orange milk chocolate, and brown sugar. A bit of spicy alcohol pops up as well at the back end, which is surprising for a 7.2% brew.

M - Smooth medium-full body that implies a much bigger beer. Lower end of the carbonation spectrum, with just enough zing to keep things from getting syrupy. Lots of bitterness in the finish and a lightly sticky residual feel.

D - I can down a bomber of this one, but the bitterness gets punishing and palate-destroying. This certainly is a bastard in that respect. An American classic - marrying the strong a German-influenced malt tradition with American bruising hoppiness. This should be one of the beers representing the US on the global market instead of BMC.

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

[Appearance]: Dark ruby red color, clear, nice amount of carbonation, head looks pretty creamy, leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
[Smell]: Citrus hops (grapefruit), floral, maybe some dash of piney, sweet malts (almost candy-like), touch of ripe cherries.
[Taste]: Grapefruity up front, floral/piney, fruitiness in the mid-palate, sweet caramel malts, dry bitterness at the end.
[Mouthfeel]: Medium bodied, carbonation is about light to medium, smooth.
[Drinkability]: Drinkability is good.

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

My first taste of a Stone product. So much hype, Hope I won't be disappointed. But it is just beer, right?

1Pt. which I put in the freezer about 15 minutes so it's not very chilled.

A- Dark ruby-brown. Nice thick chewy looking head is a very light brown/beige. It,s been 5 minutes without a sip and it's now only a thin layer but left some bunched up lacing.

S- Floral hops, some grapefruit. Soft alcohol. Malty and sweet candy/red licorice and dark fruit. Some light woodiness. I'm not blown away yet. Not an impressive smell but a great one. I'd be smelling my pint all night if I had this in a bar.

T- I was bracing myself... So not as shocking as I thought. Some of the most flavorful and floral bittering hops I've had the chance to taste in a beer. The very first sip allowed for a very tasty soapy hop burp. Some sourness. Considerably woody. Very bitter. Alcohol appears through aeration.
Would be a just tasty as an IPA but is a delicious Ale.
Few last sips now and this kind of tastes watery.

M- Close to full. Close to high carbonation. Feels good, nice and smooth. A bit sticky though. I'm done now and my teeth are numb.

D- Very good. Quite light yet complex.

This is a very good beer but I think all the arrogance on the bottle was better suited for the scene some years ago when extreme beers were fewer. High quality. I can't say I would try very hard to score some more but finding it on tap and having it with some food would be great.

EDIT: My ratings gave this an A- which is cool but I was thinking B+

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

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. The bottle has a "best by" date of May 11th so this is a bit on the mature side for a beer that relies a lot on its hops.

Appearance: As the beer is poured it is a clear deep mahogany color with a light tan 1 ½" head that is filled with lots of large and small foamy bubbles. The head recedes slowly leaving a spider web of lacing clinging to the glass. Sipping leaves behind scattered patches of lacing that cling as well.

Smell: There was a burst of hop aroma upon opening the bottle, but from the glass as the beer warms there is dark rich caramel and dark brown sugar from the roasted malts, combined with some grapefruit zest and some almost burnt character hiding way in the background. The aroma is definite and reasonably complex as it changes over time.

Taste: While at first the dominant flavor in a sip is that of a slightly sweet fruity maltiness, there is a sudden, aggressive wave of bitter grapefruit that takes over in the back of the mouth. However that wave of bitterness appears without the tongue rasp and rip that some hoppy beers display. There are also some roasted malt flavors that suggest some very dark roast may have been used in the grain bill to maintain the bitterness even after hop fade sets in.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel from the persistent fine carbonation. The finish is moderately long and predominantly bitter grapefruit that fades away as the dryness lingers on and on.

Drinkability: As noted above the beer has a bit more bottle age than I'd like for reviewing something with this much reliance on hop flavors. However, I did enjoy it and found one sip followed another easily. Although this will not go on my list of beers to have regularly, I'll probably be having this one again and I'll be trying it much fresher next time and will modify this review if needed.

Photo of larryi86
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured in a snifter

A- A great dark red/burgundy color with large 2 finger tan head that stay for a while.

S- Mainly hoppy with hints of malts, a sweet smell I can't put my finger one, and alcohol

T- This is a hoppy beer and you notice this right away. When drinking it there are hints of wood and caramel. The finish gives a smooth but untamed bitter punch that makes this drink unforgettable.

M- For how bitter the taste is, it is surprisingly light and refreshing, and of course it is very smooth

D- You will feel like an arrogant bastard drink it because it is so good. It is very easy to down a bomber is a short amount of time and still be ready for another.

I feel that if you read that back of the bottle and like what it says, you will love this beer!

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

This is a craft beer classic that I have enjoyed itermittantly over the bast eight or nine years. Finally adding my review to the hundreds of others.

Pours a clear amber-brown color with a pretty full tannish head. There is quite a bit of rising bubble activity notable through the glass. Pretty nice lacing as well.

Smell is dominated by malt, hops and caramel. There are nice hints of citrus and other fruits here. This is a very full and somewhat complex aroma.

Taste is full and malty up front. Presence of caramel and a bit of biscuit is comleted by the nice bite of hoppiness. Pretty bold and aggressive. A bit of a burn from alcohol is also noted.

Mouthfeel is very full with medium carbonation. Quite a presence with a bit of bite.

This is a very nice beer overall. In earlier days, it stood out as unique and bold. Since then, many stronger, more extreme beers have been recognized as more potent, and perhaps, flavorful. On the whole, though, for the price and availability, as well as overall quality, Arrogant Bastard deserves its place among the legends of the industry.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I had this before and didn't review it? Well I just got a case and now I can put mine down!

A -Dark amber hues with a surprising amount of head even though the brew is beyond best before date
S - Slight woody with hops smell. Malts and grassy smells follow.
T - Not too bitter and hoppy yet more malt and wood flavor from this bottle. Very good and balance!
M - Dry yet smooth it's a very complex brew
D - Well since I have 9 more bombers relatively high

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

Not sure why I don't have a review for this posted on this website, I thought for sure that I had, oh well, maybe it got misplaced.

Poured from a bottle without a date into a becher. Beer is brown and hazy forms a thin off white head of medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is strong, lots of malts, nice hop character and a slight tinge of alcohol. Smells good.

Medium body with nice carbonation in the mouth allowing the late bitterness a decent entry onto the palate. Its not as sweet as you'd think but the mouthfeel is consistent and good. Of course, what can I say about Arrogant bastard that hasn't already been said, its a great beer from a great brewery and of course I would have it again.

Photo of Prostman81
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's not a whole that I can add to the many, many reviews of this beer. I mainly wanted to highlight the taste, which really does an excellent job of blending the malt bill used with the Chinook hops. Being a homebrewer, I appreciate the structure that the brewers used to incorporate the unique quality that Chinook can bring, while avoiding some of the drawbacks that it can have when used in overabundance.

Aside from the hops, the beer is fairly easy drinking and I did not notice any alcohol warming from this beer, as I can usually spot with high ABV brews. I tend to shy away from high ABV beers during the summer, but this will be something that I will definitely have on hand during the cooler months of the year. Thank you Stone for finally coming to Chicago!

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

A: It is a pretty beer dark red with a decent head and lacing that could impress a fine victorian lady.

S: Amarillo hops, sweet malt, a whiff of caramel, understated nobility.

T: I am not an avowed hophead, I love it all, and this is a fantastic hoppy brew the hops are profound yet somehow balanced and the palate is cleaned and refreshed with each gulp.

M: Standard for this gravity and style, whatever that is.

D: Yeah, this is a new permanente on the session roster thank you for finally bringing Stone to Illinois!!!

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

Poured into a snifter. Small slightly orangish head. Deep red-brown color. Minimal lacing. Not as nice looking as might be expected for such a high reputation beer.

Nice Chinook hop, pine scent along with a strong amount of caramel with figs. Nice aroma.

Malt focus at the start of the tasting. Rich mouthfeel with some nice sweetness and dark fruit character. This is followed by a strong punch of hop bitterness. Not as much hop flavor as I might have expected -- the hops are more bitterness oriented than flavor oriented. Definitely some alcohol presence at the end with the bitterness.

Nice beer, easy to drink for a strong red ale. I enjoyed it, though I think for a similar style I prefer a few others like Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale.

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear dark amber with a big head that dies down quickly into a silky thin layer of bubbles that are off-white in color.
S: The smell isn't quite that strong, but there are distinct aromas of piney hops with some subtle hints of the underlying malt.
T: There is a bold taste of piney, oily hops with a lot of bitterness in the finish. In general, the taste is well balanced and the hops aren't that overpowering.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate.
D: If you can get through the hoppy bitterness, it's relatively easy to drink because the alcohol is rather well hidden.

Photo of milesfan76
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I've written a review. Now's as good a time as any to start again. This has always been one of my favorites, but for some reason I never got around to reviewing it. Had it on tap at University Pizzeria and Italian Eatery on the campus of YSU (this place is the single greatest reward to my recent return to school). In a pint glass.

A: Pours a darkish red with about a two-finger head that fades rather quickly (bottled version usually doesn't fade so fast).

S: Well balanced between the hops and the malts. Better than solid smell, but doesn't fully prepare one for the taste assault to follow.

T: According to Stone, "This is an aggressive beer." Yeah, that's a pretty good way do describe the taste. Hops are very present but not dominating, well balanced. (Of course, by balanced I mean both levels are equally overpowering, in a very good way.)

M: As close to perfect as I've ever had, especially given the strength of the taste.

D: Have to deduct half a point here for the 7.2%. On a Friday evening I might have a third. On a weekday between classes, though, two will have to do.

As I said at the beginning, this has long been a favorite of mine. It has not lost a bit of its appeal to me over the years. Gotta love Stone.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter glass.
Pours a dark red leather with a nice khaki colored head. Leaves a nice thick lacing. Smell is very hoppy with hints of toffee malt which makes for a great aroma. Medium bodied taste filled with caramel malts and floral hops, a slight hint of citrus pops off as well. Very drinkable, might go grab another bomber as we speak :P Overall an awesome beer that lives up to its hype. Nice job Stone

Photo of professorninja
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this on tap at Timmy O'toole's in Streeterville. This beer is great (by my gauge, the best stuff O'toole's has on tap).

A - The beer looks good. Not fantastic, but respectable. A friend got this for me from the bartender, along with a bottle of macro-piss for himself. I saw him look at his bottle and then my beer and I thought, "Jealous?"

S - I didn't notice anything great about the smell, but it smelled good. I don't really stick my nose in a beer and sniff at sports bar, so it might smell really good; whatever.

T - The taste is great. Um... nothing stands out in my memory right now, but it tastes like a want something I'm going to drink a lot of to taste.

D - This is what makes the beer. It goes down smooth, and leaves you wanting more. Good for the beer.

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,276 ratings.