1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,653 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,653
Reviews: 2,786
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 259
Gots: 954 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,653 | Reviews: 2,786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scooter231
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Bastard. I've had so many bottles of this and never reviewed it- I figured it was about time. Bottle is one of, if not, my favorites. Warns you right off the bat that you probably won't like it- which is why I had to try it. To prove them right, or, hopefully, wrong.

Beautiful looking beer. Deep red/ruby color, lots of tan head that balances perfectly with it. Lacing all down the glass. Almost too pretty to drink. Smell is hoppy, with lots of burnt/roasted scents coming through. A bit of floral scents as well. Intriguing, to say the least.

Taste is just amazing. Lots of coffee and roasted flavors. Espresso. Bitter. Hoppy- and these hops aren't shy, either. There's a subtle sweetness in there, a bit of caramel. The sweet, bitter, roasted flavors all harmonize perfectly- a complex flavor for those who can handle it.

Mouthfeel is chewy, smooth. Bitey after you take a sip. Drinkable for those who enjoy it, definitely. Awesome beer.

scooter231, Aug 11, 2005
Photo of ReebShorts
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice Luscious pour, thick head that faded a bit but a nice layer just sat there covering the entire surface. Color was red, maybe cherry red? and the contrast of the reddish brew, off-white head was pretty damn appealing.

Smell is slightly alcohol, some malt with hoppiness, and.... man this smell is a bit complex. I guess I picked up on some plum, apricot and maybe oatmeal? Smells great, looks sexy, time to have a taste.

Ok, this is hard to describe. I think the strength of the alcohol taste is masking some of what I was smelling. I was actually quite surprised that this is a 7.2 as I'd have put it around 8.5 based on the flavor. It's also slightly more bitter than I had anticipated, but not in a bad way, it fit's this beer perfectly as it goes down quite smooth and there is a nice light bite after gulping down. Lacing was all down the side of the glass. This baby is tasty (I wish I had bought a couple tonight instead of one), I'll look forward to some more of this one.

ReebShorts, Aug 10, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Not available here in Wichita. Thanks, Bruiser81!

Appearance: This clear pouring beer was more red than any other color, though there were some hints of copper. The peach-tan head rose up easily to three fingers, even with a careful pour. It dissipated very slowly, picking up hints of fluffiness. The foam was very sticky and the side of the glass was covered with lace when the beer was gone.

Smell: A great aroma, though I've always thought that the sweetness comes across as sickly. Kind of like how rotting things sometimes have a sweet smell to them. Plus, I've always noticed a certain quality to the aroma that I can only describe as dirty. I just can't quite come up with a better descriptor than that. Oh, well . . . I still like it. :-) Heavy on the sweet malt with hints of raisins, especially right after the pour. Lots of bread, crackers, and lightly roasted malt help to provide a solid base. Oddly enough, I pick a good dose of bubblegum as well. The hops are rather subdued, but are definitely present and are probably being masked by the huge amounts or malt in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth. Slightly buttery on the tip of the tongue, becoming fuzzy in the back of the mouth. Lightly chewy.

Taste: No other beer tastes quite like Arrogant Bastard. Thick sweet malts, sharp dark fruits, raisins, and light caramel hit the tongue first. Underneath was a bready malt component and a husky, almost astringent, quality. Then on the finish, the hops rose up big and their dry, herbal bitterness dominated, though the malt was strong enough to still be present. There was a definite numbing effect from the alcohol, though its flavor was just barely detectable in the aftertaste.

I've had AB numerous times in the past, from bombers to 3-liter bottles to tap. This is the first time that I have gotten to sit infront of my computer, analyze it, and review it. It's a great beer that I will always seek out.

Quaffer, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this draft at Collin's, near Pioneer Square in Seattle.

Lots of depth to the flavour of this big brew.

Excellent bitter/sweet balance, spicey undertones, moderate-to-heavy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable... it takes time for your taste buds to decipher the complex flavours.

Derek, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a extrodarie beer. Pours a dark amber/red. Not much of a head and leaves a small trace of lacing. Scents of hops and malt in a sweet surrounding. Medium body with a great sweet taste with a little hop bite at the end. I really like this brew and would make a great session beer.

Wasatch, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just about time for a revisit for this brew. This was one of the first beers I tried at the beginning of my beer advocacy and at the time this was too big a step for me to take in order for me to enjoy it. I do consider myself lucky for having stumbled upon this so early on in my sampling career as it makes for a good road marker of the evolution of my tastes.
As to the bastard himself-
there's no getting around the appearance of this beer. It's beautiful in the glass and the bottle is kick ass. It is very at home in my Chimay goblet as it looks very much like a dark Belgian brew; deep ruby color with a tan head that stays for a lengthy period of time. No lack of lacing to be found.
Smells good. It's in a style that's so broad and varied that it's difficult to criticize it in that way so I'll just go with what my nose tells me. Floral, a little pungent, a little roasted, definately hoppy. This brew makes solid first impressions.
The taste is somewhere between an ipa/barley wine and a stout/porter. Definately a fusion of styles going on here. Deep, dark, roasted to burnt flavors. It is a challenging flavor.
The mouthfeel is right up my alley. There is softness there, as well as a reminder of espresso.
I can definately drink more of this now than when I first started on my high quality beer path. Arrogant Bastard is necessary in ones beer resume... though I still think Bear Republic's Red Rocket ale is better.

ommegangpbr, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of blackie
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Produces a quarter inch off white head when poured into the snifter. The initial head soon recedes, altough some bubble-fed atolls of carbonation remain. A simple swirl or two is all it takes to revive the head. A small amount of this carbonation clings to the sides of the glass as it is drained. The color of the beer is a very dark amber or mahogany color with quite an amount of red showing through.

The first thing I notice is not only the wonderful abundance floral hops, but how well they are balanced with that sweet, toasty malt. The odor progresses from more malt character to more bitterness over the course of a single sniff. Plenty of sweet fruit aromas linger in the background...including pineapple, plums, red bananas, and tropical fruits. The hop characteristic is great...pleasantly bitter and fragrant all at once.

This one is medium to medium high in carbonation. The bubbles of CO2 are small and delicate and do not impart the effervesence usually associated with this level of carbonation. The body is medium with a slight slickness.

The hops and the malt do their work on the tastebuds at the same time, but the hops are unquestionably at the forefront here. That is not to say that there isn't enought malt to counter the hops, however, because there is. In the background are flavors of tropical fruits. The hops behave somewhat strangely on the tongue. After the initial hop rush, they subside considerably...revealing more of the malty and fruity flavors present. Then, coming out of nowhere, the hops again make themselves known in the form of a very long and bitter finish with some toasted malt hiding way in the back. The long lasting hop bitterness eventually kicks the proverbial ass of everything else to become the last remnant of this formidable liquid.

An extremely complex beer. Resinous, piney hops abound on both the nose and palate...but with a nice malt characteristic as well. A must-try. I'm feeling a little loose after the entire bomber...though the alcohol is not otherwise evident. This one sat in the 55 degree F cellar for slightly over two months after I purchased it. If hops are as good a preservative as I think they are, I'd like to be embalmed with this stuff when I kick the bucket.

blackie, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of Chadbrew
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really nice caramel and thick with good carbonation and a nice head.
Rich malty favor with a good but not over-whelming hops presence. The body on this is huge!
I really wish this were a little easier for me to get because this is a very drinkable beer. I haven't been let down by Stone yet...

Chadbrew, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my new favorite glass (oversized wine glass) a dark brown with some amber highlights. Nice 1 inch head that gives way to a thin layer of clingy, sticky suds.

S: Sharp note of grapefruity hops just smacks me in the nose. Underneath the hops is an almost sweet smell of malt. Very nice.

T: Hop Bomb. Blissful bitterness. Nice taste of a bread crust flavor supporting the hops. Big bold flavor. No excuses. In your face attitude that I love dearly. As it warms a bit the hops seem to mellow a bit and let the other players join them on the stage, melding the flavors oh so nicely.

M: Sharp. Medium body with just above moderate carbonation. Alcohol is deliciously warming. Perfect after a day of frustration at work.

D&N: Almost makes me want to wax loquacious and write some back of the bottle stream of thought. This is just a damn fine beer, and far from scaring me, I've come to see the gargoyle as my guardian against the world of mediocre beers. Fire up the Ronnie James Dio CD, grab my D&D dice, and let's go slay the dwarves of average and their craptastic beer catapult of crud! My vorpal sword is sharp and cuts you away from your ties to the Elf King PBR.
Damn good beer. Go buy some, already!

JackTheRipper, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. with no freshness date - served slightly chilled in an oversized wine glass. Pours a nice ruby brown that kinda looks like red wine when light shines through. It's topped with a thin tan head that leaves minimal lacing, but I was swirling it constantly, thus removing any possible lacing. Smells very fruity - pineapple juice, tropical hops, and some sweetness and bitterness. Tastes like pineapple and mango with piney and citric hops (predominantly grapefruit) that are very bitter but complement the flavors nicely. It has low to medium carbonation with a smooth body that is oh so thick and feels wonderful. This is a great beer for the price and a great beer in general.

mmmbeer, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of jdm
2.17/5  rDev -48%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

this is a visually stunning brew. it is dark red with a huge tan head that has great staying power and that tries to pull the sides of the glass down with it as it dissappears (great lacing). i put my nose to this one and things go south from there. i know everyone tends to like this one, but sorry folks, it smells and tastes an awful lot like grapefruit juice to me. i can taste and smell grain, citrus, and definitely hops but the malt is nearly invisible behind the gaggingly sharp bite of monstrous hops. i can tell from the mouthfeel that they did not spare the malt in manufacture. i appreciate that this could not be a cheap beer to manufacture, but i can't jump on the bandwagon with this one. it is all i can do to finish a whole bottle.

jdm, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
3.13/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The bottle poured a nice dark reddish brown witha monsterous head that lasted for ever. For a stong ale there was very little aroma that I got from it. What I did get was caramel/fruit punch aromas with very little hops. The taste was very sweet, also with the fruit punch and malts that ended up with the ever slight tangy-ness of hops. Slight alcohol presence in the end. The hops are there but not strong enough. The mouth feel was thick and creamy ( a high gravity) Overall Not a "session beer" but one to enjoy and move on.

quasimoto, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of Brian700
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks mtnlover for sending me this to try for my first time. I've been waiting a long time to get my hands on a bottle. This beer poured a deep amber color with a mocha colored head that stuck around and was very creamy. It almost looked like it had the consistencey of whipped cream. Yum. The nose has is slightly hoppy with a phenolic twist (slightly band-aid). It's a good aroma, I like it. The taste is malty sweet with a generous hop bite. The hop addition is just right. Good mouthfeel. Full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This is a good drinkable beer. I can't wait to get my hands on some more of this. I highly recommend. As if its reputation doesn't speak for itself.

Brian700, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have eyed this beer for a while and almost bought it once, but finally decided to give it a try. I definitely wasn't let down. This Arrogant Bastard appeared as a three-finger tannish foamy headed beast atop a deep rich reddish brown beer. Aromas of hops--earthy and grassy--were detected along with a hint of cinnamon, brown sugar or possibly maple syrup. A caramel smooth sort of taste yields to quality savory hopping in the aftertaste. This was a smooth and balanced beer. The best I've had in a while.

tomthumbsblues, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful clear crimson brew with brown highlights and a sticky tan head that was very thick and left nice belgian lace on the pint glass. The aroma is of a nice mild yet spicy hop aroma which has tinges of pine but not much. The flavor is very nice as it begins with a smooth rich malty flavor that is a touch toasted but more carmelized which segues into a delcious hop flavor that combines the spiciness of the aroma hops with the grapefruity, sharp bitterness of high alpha hops and finshes in a lingering bitterness. Smooth bodied this beer is a pleasure to drink and the rich mouthfeel complements the hops but the high alcohol is hidden quite well until you stand up.

RenoZymurgist, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of chrisms86
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had high expectations for this beer after hearing so much about it from other beer drinkers. Had a pleasant malty flavor. Added hops make me think that this beer is what would happen if one mixed the spices of an IPA with a syrupy stout. The 7.2% alcohol goes unnoticed in the taste.

My complaint with this beer was its mouthfeel. I liked the thickness, but it was too the syrupy nature of this brew is not a positive attribute. I recommend this strong ale but for the money there are many better options.

chrisms86, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of OatherS
3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big 1pt6oz bottle with no label but a devil drinking a beer printed on the bottle.

A: Not much head, nice dark amber color.

S: Hops very present.

T: Hoppy and sneeze inducing flavor. Bitter as well. Very strong flavor.

M: Fine.

D: I can understand why that this is a highly ranked beer, but I personally do not think highly of this beer.

OatherS, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of Vancer
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, the Bastard on Red/White/Blue day! SOB!! No wonder everyone raves about it – EXCELLENT ale! What a great caramel brown pour with creamy, foamy ivory head – purrty lacing! What aroma, citrus, pine, malts. TASTY quaff, malty, earthy with just a light touch of floral – just right! Oh, the smooth , light carbed, full bodied – hiding that 7.2 % amazingly well. Oh, crap, only 1 bomber of it. Gots to have more!

Vancer, Jul 05, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance was great, big frothy head and dark rich color...Inviting. Smell was a bit alcohol but also mad hops.

It has a sweet side to the malts but for the most part its earthy and coffee undertones. Hops are mad, crazy, insane and off the charts especially towards the finish. Not too sweet like some chocolate type beers just a nice bitter hop and an added bitterness from the burnt malts.

Notes: Once again another winner from Stone Brewing. I get the sense that they trial run beers for years because when they release a beer it is refined. Winner. Very complex offering with a nice malt depth alongside bigtime overhopping. Although this is not a sessioner it recieves plenty of attention at this household.

DogFood11, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown, almost ruby red, eggnog coloured head that sticks everywhere. Smells like sweet malt, but tempered with a floral hoppiness. Taste is sweet up front with a floral and citrusy hoppy middle, and a nice bitter finish. Very balanced beer, very full and a caramel maltiness thats very pleasant. Thanks DrJay.

Viggo, Jun 25, 2005
Photo of Bierschenker
3.18/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Mzwolinski for flying it over!
It pours in a nice dark red ale with a thick creamy head. The head has some brownness.
I poured it in an octagonal Hoegaarden glass.
I was surprised by the smell, I really think it resembles rebarber pie. A sweet sugary vegetable odour.
The taste is (luckily) less overpowering than the Stone IPA. It does have some similar elements. The taste of the used hops for example. It has a very strong dry caramel malt experience. No trace at all of yeast, spices or fruits. Just the peculiar vegetal flavour.
The aftertaste keeps a very strong hop bitterness and malt taste. That is preceded by a striking vegetable juice tone.
Very full bodied beer, new experience for me, but nothing special.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

Bierschenker, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of cracgor
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby hues. A very small head forms, but remains and is velvety smooth. Sticks readily to the glass.

Smell: An oily hop and nutty aroma. Very fruity.

Taste: Very oily hops. A nutty aftertaste. Sweet and fruity. I don't understand the label, I LOVE this...and I'm probably not that sophisticated either.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. A little astringent. A bit of warming after swallowed, but any alcohol taste is hidden.

Drinkability: Very good and drinkable. This beer is much better than I expected, and I expect a lot from stone.

cracgor, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of charlatan
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a 22oz bottle. It has a reddish chestnut hue and a generous head. It smells predominantly of blackcurrant with maybe a hint of vinegar, liquorice and blackberry.

This tastes wonderful. First I notice a treacle/liquorice flavour and then a sweet berry rush fills my mouth and the carbonation seems to make it explode in slow motion before giving way to the treacle malt flavour and then leaving a subtle, but acrid liquorice infused hoppy aftertaste. That sounds like something that would make you sick, but I swear it's marvellous.

Good stuff, but you'll only need one bottle.

charlatan, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of Naes
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with dense tan head that has wonderful lacing.

S: Fruity, almost like a citrus, yet hints of hops surface as well.

T: This ale starts off sweet and finishes with a wonderful bitter flavor of hops. Just before the bitterness hits, you can detect its alcohol on the palate. The initial flavor matches the aroma quite well, but that aftertaste was unexpected and definitely makes this beer. If you like hops, this is one of those must tries.

M: For such a bitter beer, it is very smooth.

D: Very drinkable, but be forewarned; its 7.2% alcohol could definitely turn you into an arrogant bastard, if overdone.

Naes, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of Litterbean
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta say, I love this beer. Have had it many, many times, and it always satisfies.

It pours a deep ruby red, with a tawny head that looks like it's sprinkled with cinnamon. Great head retention, it looks pillowy.

The smell is inviting and powerful. A blend of deep, warming sweetness with a twangy hoppiness that both intermingle and form an extreme yet balanced aroma.

Taste is rather malty at first, a sort of bready warmth to it. Some medicinal flavors in there, along with a noticeable alcohol heat to it. The hops are bitter and very abundant, but not in a way that it will offend you. If you are offended by this, you are not worthy, as the bottle states. Grapefruit is the most prominent flavor I can pick out, but there is also a good amount of sweet syrupy goodness. Other fruits and other sweets are also in there, but this brew is very complex and I'm sure this beer has different meanings for different people.

Good smooth mouthfeel, a bit of carbonation, and a whole lot of a punch for your tongue. Very easy to drink, despite the high alcohol. I'd love to sip this all day and get slowly buzzed. A real warmer but still refreshing on a hot day.

Litterbean, Jun 15, 2005
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,653 ratings.