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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,539 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,539
Reviews: 2,892
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 335
Gots: 1,637 | 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: 9,539 | Reviews: 2,892
Photo of BeerMeInMS
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking Date: 12/23/10
Drink-by Date: 11/21/10
* a little past its date but I belive the high alcohol (7.2%) kept it fine. I tasted no complications.

Glassware: large curved pilsner-style glass
Bottle: 22 oz. brown bottle with the coolest advertising I have ever seen or read. The paragraph on the back was the reason I bought the beer.

Appearance: Visual perfection. retddish-brown color that is both deep and bright. Thick, frothy, tan-colored head that sticks with you until the end. Best retained head I have seen in a beer so far. It left spidery lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Typical smell of a quality beer with lots of hops... floral and piney...very fresh and refreshing.

Taste: Lots going on in this beer! The beer kept surprising me with its complexity the whole time I drank. A little taste of bitterness is evident first, which is quickly followed by a strong and faintly sweet, toasted flavor. The bitter, hoppy taste and the malt flavor then blend for a complex, but balanced taste. The beer left me with a bitter, earhty taste of hops, which I enjoyed.
But like I said... as I drank I kept discovering more nuances. There always seemed to be an underlying hoppy, bitterness in every taste. The best thing was that I didn't have a few sips and my taste buds grow accustomed and dull out. Rather, every sip was a pleasurable, interesting experience. (Would give it a 4.8 if I could)

Mouthfeel: The big flavor makes it feel like a big beer, but the beer has medium body and smooth texture along with a good amount of bubbly carbonation.

Drinkablity: The 22 oz. I drank were enough. I might drink a couple pints, but no more. The big flavor and strong hop taste make this beer one to slowly be enjoyed singly or as the penultimate beer of the evening. However, I don't reckon that against the beer. The fact that every sip of the beer was delicious and interesting is reason enough for high marks.

Notes: Love this beer. If you like beer with big, complex flavor and a good dose of hoppy bitterness then I would say you are 'worthy' to have this beer (even though the bottle says otherwise). Will purchase this one again when I can find it.

Photo of JayS2629
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep chestnut color with medium tan head, nice retention, and creamy sea foam lace. Beautiful.

S- Rich caramel, grapefruit, hints of chocolate, pine and citrus notes

T- Much more hoppy and bitter than the nose. Grapefruit right up front, followed by caramel and faint hints of chocolate. Very hoppy bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied, crisp,

D- Quite aggressively bitter finish that sticks around. More hoppy than expected. Refreshing, but strong. Sipper.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark tawny color. It has a one finger tan head that sticks around for a bit, before sinking down into large aggregates of bubbles covering the top of the liquid. The beer is opaque, with little carbonation visualized. Decent lacing appears as the beer disappears. The aroma is comparable to a basic doppelbock. It has deep dark malts, with a bit of a toast, sweet caramel, buttery diacetyls, clean hops, and what seems to be a bit of yeast on the very back. As we sip, we start with bready roasted malts, and a tinge of metal. This falls to a hop-dominant middle. The hops used taste floral, and a bit piney. Here we also get sweetness, not unlike butterscotch and toffee. The finish is with the same hops, and is slightly salty. The aftertaste breathes similarly, with hops as the shining flavor, but without that overt hop bitterness. The body is medium and the carbonation is light to medium. The feel is a bit chewy, and the beer both coats (lightly) and cools the mouth. The mouth is left satiated. The abv is on the higher end, but standard, and the beer drinks nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its rich aroma. It smelled very similar to a doppelbock, which plays right to our favorites. It was buttery and roasty and sweetly malty. Additionally, the spiel on the back of the bottle, about being too good for everybody, is awesome. We also liked the fact, as advertised by the bottle, that it is a simple brew, utilizing the most basic and freshest ingredients. This, too, was evident upon tasting, making for an easy going, natural-tasting brew.

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

Had out of a bomber. I think that is the only way it is bottled

A deep Red/Brown color with a good 2 finger not quite white head.

The smell is dominated by some great hops. Earthy/Citrus/Pine balanced perfectly with some caramel and grainy malts

A pine grapefruit gets you in the beginning but as it finishes the caramel toasty malts shine through but just enough to make the citrus hop flavor really stand out for the aftertaste. For how heavy (ABV) it is I want to keep sipping.

Beautiful color/aroma/flavor and finish.

Someone bought this as a gift for me about 5 years ago. It was one of the first really hoppy strong ales I had tried. My appreciation for it has only grown tremendously over those 5 years.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin white head.

S: Lots of citrus hops with some caramel malt.

T: Bready/caramel malt with some citrus/pine hops. A bit of brow sugar/dark fruits is also present.

M: Medium with some prickly carbonation.

D: Medium. Lots of good flavors, but the abv could be a bit much after a few.

Photo of mikeg67
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried it on-tap in a bar. The beer is deep mahogany in color. Aroma is all hops with a slight hint of malt. When you smell it you'll know what's going to hit you: hops, hops, hops. Earthy, woody hops assault the palate right away. Felt like my mouth is burning. Finish is long lasting and all hops. Wow, so good.

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

Arrogant Bastard is of a beautifully polished cherry-wood colour that would look every bit as classy and handsome as a bar top as it does just sitting on one. Its leaking highlights broadcast the fact that this deep, darkish beer is actually spotlessly transparent and chalk full of fetching chroma. Its head is a tarnished ecru and leaves a sticky mess of lacing.

I'm sure Stone has already looked into whether it's possible to legally trademark a smell - this audaciously hoppy aroma is distinguished by the sheer pomposity of its wickedly bitter pithiness and unrivaled piny attributes. It smells like someone set a (Tim Burton-inspired) forest on fire and grinned the singed and seething remains into the bottle.

Imagine encountering a dark, sinister side to pink grapefruit, pine serum and toffee-coated wafers. In fact, Arrogant Bastard is kind of like a vigilante - not everyone will agree with the way it goes about things but few will dispute the overall good brought about. Do its flavours need to be this brazen and excessively bitter? Couldn't we have just had a bright and citric hoppiness without all these harassing, pithy, weedy herbals?

Couldn't we have a leisurely walk through the forest rather than death by a thousand pine needle pin-pricks? Couldn't we have a spritz of citrus rather than being gagged with a festering, entire grapefruit in our mouth? Couldn't we have sweet, toasty biscuits rather than having the sugar scorched directly onto our tongue? In so many words... no.

If you want all smiles and sunshine then look elsewhere because the experience here is not the sunshine, it's the storm weathered. And to hell with smiles. This is about being brash, impertinent, impudent, ill-mannered, unabashed and, in a word, arrogant. This may be the world's most deliberately unappealing flagship beer... which is exactly why it's so popular.

Love it or loath it, this beer does capture a great deal about its brewer: loads of brash character and plenty of clever marketing. And you may be hard-pressed to find a flagship offering with better value, more distinctiveness and this level of decadent maltiness and brimming hoppiness. Love him or loath him, Arrogant Bastard is one cool bad-ass.

Photo of tburus
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Muted, transparent red color. Light carbonation. Thin but complete head.

Smell: Initially hoppy and citrusy smell with something indiscernible. As it warmed a cherry aroma really came out.

Taste: Clear hoppy taste. Quick cherry flavor, but not nearly as much as the smell had me hoping for. Bitter.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness largely went away unlike IPAs like 90 Minute. A little too watery for my taste. Nothing very enjoyable lingering in the mouth.

Drinkability: Definitely strong, and if you like hops it is probably up your alley. Alcohol really hits you, though not very present in the nose or taste. Overall, for the price, taste, and fact that it is only in a bomber, I probably won't find myself picking this up too often.

Photo of beerman207
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure how I've never had this beer but started checking the top 100 and foud a few from stone that need a review. Let's start with the bastard!

A: Has a light orange clear color with a 2 inch head that leaves lacing all over the place. Very nice.

S: Hops, sweet malt, caramel

T: Wow - the malt and hops hit at the same time and then my palate is overrun with the bitter hops that linger for an eternity. Wow, this beer is the real deal in terms of bitter.

M: The bitter rings through and warms with the carbonation - couldn't ask for much more here

D: Wow, the bitterness makes me want to sip this one even though the ABV is moderate. Great offering from Stone!

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
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
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
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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
4.41/5  rDev +6%
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
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
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
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
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
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
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
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
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
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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
4.56/5  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.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,539 ratings.