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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,657 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,657
Reviews: 2,786
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 260
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
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Ratings: 8,657 | Reviews: 2,786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RootedFool
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Pours reddish mahogany. The head is a lovely, frothy orange-tinged pile.

The nose is a hefty pillow of bready malts and an incisive jab of citrusy, spicy hops. Going deeper, I pick up in some very sweet, bubble gum notes -- but the raspy hops keep the sweetness on its knees.

Taste opens with a juicy burst of toasty malts and serves as a stable background to the firecracking hops that waste no time making their presence known.

The hop presence is dense and broadsides my palate, as opposed to a more shrill, narrow stab of bitterness found in many other hoppy brews.

The finish is close to dry, pleasantly bitter.

Mouthfeel is creamy and palate-massaging.

More than a hint of carbonation.

RootedFool, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally got to try this last night at KClinger's Publik House. When I saw it on the board, I almost fell off my stool. Finally, I get to try this West Coast marvel, and on tap no less.
Appearance: AB is a really deep reddish brown color, like mahogany. There is a small off white head that disappeared on mine.
Smell: There's a lot going on here, but the predominant smell is of sweet malt. Some hops come through, but mostly sweetness.
Taste: The first sip is very intense. The heavy malt reminds one of cane sugar or carmelized sugars. Very sweet and full. After that, an angry bunch of hops assert themselves, and meld with the malt. There is quite a bit going on here, good interplay of flavors.
Mouthfeel: Not overly heavy, but rather just a good full drink. Leaves slight coating on the tounge from its higher alcohol.
Drinkability: Good. I could have another. This really is an intense beer though, so I doubt I could toss them back in succession. Nice to have had it though. I'm going back for a growler.

99bottles, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of govtmule
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had my first AB at Monk's in Philly. I have to say that is a good beer. It was too dark to really get a good look at the appearance, but from what I could see it was a nice cherry or mahogany wood color.
Nice frothy head.
The taste is the best part of this beer. I'm still working on how to describe beers, but all I can say is that this beer is pretty intense. Lots of flavor. I couldn't drink 'em all night, but I could drink 'em every night.

govtmule, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of smcolw
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cascading full head that poured three fingers thick; this is something I expect only from the nitro-can stouts. Unfiltered cloudiness with an orange hue from a bright backlight. Maroon-brown in normal light. Very impressive sticky lace on the glass sides.

Grassy dark malt aroma up front; strong molasses-like smells. Sweet like caramel candy or maple syrup.

The flavor is rich and complicated. Strong carmelized sugar flavors in the beginning of the sip. The hops crecendo slowly and powerfully. I am fascinated with the experience after the swallow: the molasses sweetness returns followed by an intense IPA-like hop bitterness. This beer has a body like light cream. The higher-than-typical carbonation provides the perfect foil to nearly overwhelming flavors.

This beer offers one of the best carnival taste rides: malty to hoppy to candy sweetness to dry hop bitterness. I'd love to know how they made this beer. It's like drinking a symphony.

PS I notice that my reviews are longer when the beers are interesting and complicated. It seems that my ratings are proportionate to the length of the review.

smcolw, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of mjohn27603
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby to mahogany in color. Serve from a bomber at cellar temperature. Dense foamy head develops about three fingers head. Head retention is good with a head remaining for a long time. Smells hoppy. First taste reveals a strong bitter hoppy presence. Tastes like an IPA. Very in your face hop presence. Aftertaste remains for a long time. I'm searching for anything other than the strong bitter hops taste. I thought I got a little citrus undertones on the first sip but that doesn't seem present in the second. I'm probably drinking a little warmer than ideal serving temperature. I prefer something a little better balanced. A decent selection but not one I would travel miles for.

mjohn27603, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of Foxman
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dark muted amber, with an impressive three fingers of light tan head that sticks around a good long while. Fingers of lacing wind almost maniacally about the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a mad rush of dry citrus, like flowery grapefruit juice, but a companion caramel malt presence disavows one of that notion. A smooth, gentle vanilla air keeps the edges rounded.

The first sip delivers a smooth toffee malt sweetness frolicking with a dry perfumed grapefruit bitterness. The alcohol provides a soothing warming sensation as a partner. The citrus plays again in the middle, almost delivering pulp to the palate. A lightly baked biscuit presence graces the stretch run before a dry hops bitterness lingers and slowly fades. The elemental balance is, simply, a fun taste experience.

Roughly medium bodied, it coats capably and takes its time slipping away. The palate glows with a dry tingle at the finish.

While a bit less beefy than some of its brethren, it's arguably more artfully balanced. It's also simpler than some Stone offerings, but that is in no way a down note. It's malt, it's hops, and it delivers both in a smooth blend. And there is just no way that one is enough, no matter the sign on the bottle. It's likely that arrogance never tasted so good.

Foxman, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of ottobon100
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love "hoppy" beers and this is my number one favorite! No one even comes close. I find it hard to believe Stone Ruination and Stone IPA beat this out on BA review rankings because to me they taste a tad watery in comparison. Don't get me wrong I like those beers but no where near as well as ABA. I think the writing on the bottle says it all.

ottobon100, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I finally had the pleasure of drinking a Stone beer. Pours a very dark amber with a tan head, suprisingly the head didn't last longer. Lacing with slither down your glass with each sip though. Smell is fruity with caramel hops. Taste is very strong but with great roasted and fruit tones. This beer explodes in the mouth, very full and lively. A very drinkable beer, if you want to impress someone with a great beer, this is the one to get.

beertaster13, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of RocketWidget
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent strong ale. First off, one of the best aspects of this beer is it's appearance. Great long lasting head, of a murky yellow white color. The beer is ruby in color, very cool to look at. Smell is very respectable and bold, malty and yeasty, with a hint of sweetness. Taste is very complex. Lightly carbonated, this beer is semi-sweet with a subtle bitter aftertaste. I discovered flavors such as the bitter of grapefruit (which I didn't really like since I don't like grapefruit) and the bite of baking chocolate. Thumbs up to this brew. Sadly though I won't be drinking much of this, since it is wildly overpriced at the only local store that sells it ($5 for a bomber). Way to go Stone!

RocketWidget, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of Charthepirate
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poures a deep red, with a thick creamy head, leaving lacign all the way down. Head stayed for a long time, small bubbles, just generally a gorgeous beer.

Smell comes with a heavy malt and hit of grapefruit. Slight touch of phenols detectable also.

Flavor, so rich and complex, it's taken me two bombers to even start expressing the flavors of this beer. Initially it's rich and complex maltiness. light caramels, and a mild roastiness are also detectable. As it hits back on the tongue, the hops slap you across the face. Powerful grapefruit is noticable, along with a range of hop flavors.

Rich and heavy in the mouth, with just enough carbonation to keep it interesting.

A spectacular beer.


Charthepirate, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Arrogant Bastard pours a deep copper-red with a creamy light brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

It's aroma is strong hops with some citrus notes.

The taste is not nearly as bold as I was expecting. I'm not normally a hop-head, but this is hops well done. Some sweetness and citrus up front, but the hops really dominate the flavor. The citrus, grapefruity twang really helps to balance the bitterness and keep it in line. It packs a bitter aftertaste, but not overwhelmingly so.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and pleasantly bubbly.

Overall, a very smooth drinking beer. I could easily see this as a session beer if not for the wallop of the 7.2% alcohol, which is not noticeable as you drink it.

Beaver13, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown body with very low carbonation and a thin head that is gone is a matter of seconds. Lace is also quite minimal, and the beer has very still appearance in general. Aroma is on the sweetish side with flowery hops and malts that smell like honey. I can also detect a fair bit of grain on the nose with hints on vanilla and oak. Malt profile is very Scottish with sweet caramel, plum, cherry, vanilla, and a bit of smoked grain. Hops are quite detectable, and become more pronounced as the beer warms some. The hops add some dryness to the aftertaste due to their spicy, woody character, but they are not really bitter. As the beer gets warmer still, the malts that had been subdued by the hops make a big comeback with very fruity esters. Silky smooth mouthfeel with a nicely warming alcohol content. A sipping beer to wind down a stressful day at work, as the experience is totally relaxing and mellow.

rajendra82, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of coasterfreak75
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally got one! The pour was incredible, dark copper-red with a beautiful foamy head an inch thick that fell to a creamy thin line that stuck to the sides of the glass throughout the drink. The smell was full of strong hop spice with a hint of malt and a slight floral overtone. The taste started with a great hop kick that lasted from start to finish, somewhere in the middle I gained a kick of malt. The finish bordered on oily with lingering hop overtones. All and all this was a great brew.

coasterfreak75, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drew for the sample.

I tried my best to hate this beer, but all my efforts have failed. Rich with hops, obviously, but fantastically layered with fruity and sweet malts, licorice-tinted hop resin, and yeast. The balance is phenomenol for such a huge beer and this drinks remarkably smooth. Unendingly complex and, after you accept the huge hop and alcohol nose, this is suprisingly subtle.

Relax, relax.

ngandhi, Mar 04, 2004
Photo of ark57
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a symbol for what is so good in brewing today. It is large and in your face and does not care which companies pay lots of money to promote their product. It is brown in color with ruby highlights. The aroma is full of hops and some malt. The bitterness is up front and the body is a sweet and smooth maltiness. It has a big hop finish that is herbal and minty. This beer is extreme and just wonderful.

ark57, Mar 02, 2004
Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Chumley's in Lafayette. This should be what all other craft brews are measured against. Appearance is a nice ruby brown with a quickly disapating tan head. There is a strong raisin taste in this beer which yields to a strong hop profile. The smell hints at more malt than the taste would have you believe. This beer is balanced very well and the alcohol is completely hidden. This beer would never be a bad choice and will continue to be an excellent standby for me.

soper2000, Mar 02, 2004
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer obviously has a lot of character, and Stone has made a good, distinctive beer. As the label will tell you, they don't care what you think of it. But I shall review nonetheless...

It had a nice appearance, good color, but not too much of a lasting head. At least for me. The taste was strong and hoppy. The malt would break through, then recede. That was a nice touch. Very hoppy. It mellowed a bit as it got warmer (or maybe it was due to just sitting). Much too aggressive to rank it high in drinkability.

Definitely one for the hopheads.

GeoffFromSJ, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tall head, malty aroma, clear ruby brown color. All praise attributed to this popular California ale is well deserved. It is creamy smooth, delicious, has a biting bitter edge and clean finish. A hearty ale with robust properties all around. The body teams with malt while the bitterness is pronounced yet not overdone. All is well proportioned and balanced and the mouthfeel is sublime. This is a champion among beers. And I love all that "You're not Worthy" stuff. More power to 'em.

RedDiamond, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold, the hops overwhelm all else with a blast of grapefruit rind. Let the Bastard warm up though, and he becomes quite the charming gentleman.

This is a perfectly lovely beer, starting with the beautiful white froth on cola-colored beer with a red-copper glint on the bottom. It's very fragrant, sweet raisin and sharp hops rising to each breath.

When I drink, I find a big alcohol warmth and tiny bubbles. The hops provide a piercing, pure bitterness like a spike on which rests caramel, raisins, very ripe pears, and a wedge of cheese.

It reminds me of Old Peculiar, only more drinkable.

gentlebubbles, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of Stimack
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, finally got my hands on one of these brews. As it seems to be one of the most discussed brews on BA, I was very excited to give it a try.

The brew came in a 22 oz brown bomber, which has a nice different look to it. You have to read the back of the brew, very funny! The brew pours to a deep red color with a nice inch high head that will not break down! The brew has left nice heavy off white lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aromas of this brew are heavy on the hops that give a floral smell, also can notice hints of a fruit essence. Hard to pick out the malt as it seems to be over powered by the hops.

The taste is quite complex, even though it seems to be quite smooth. Can sense some caramel and roasted flavor up front that go nice with the brew. Has a bit of an alcohol taste to it, but not overly strong. The brew finishes with a very noticeable hop punch that smooth out to a somewhat sweet taste? Over all a nice brew, not one of my favorite styles, but I can see why it has the (much deserved) hype.

Stimack, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Before I start...thanks to JTFest for hooking me up with this among many other Stone releases.

okay...22 oz bomber. Pours a deep red, crystal clear. With a two finger head, the head stays for quite some time and gives way to a nice, sticky, off-white lace. This certainly does look like it deserves the reputation this beer has garnered.

Smell: not to thrilled with the smell actually. Nothing too special, some malt, fruitiness, and a little bit of alcohol.

Taste: Nice, very malty, a little hoppy and very smooth. There is a slight hint of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: This is one of the best that I have experianced of the style, it's smooth but not so smooth it feels like oil. This definitely has some bite, but nothing too overpowering.

Drinkability: This is by no means a session beer, with a 7.2% abv, it's not the kind of thing you can drink in bulk, but I'm sure glad that this is one I got to try.

Notes: Still not sure if I'm worthy, but at least bottles can't be the judge.

LuckySevens82, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap, fresh and tasty! pours a regal dark auburn, tiny bubbles lifting a moderate head and leaving some killer lace. This brew oozes HOPS, citrus, grapefruit, resins. Oaty/bready malt balance. This is a tasty strong brew to be cherished and sought out, again and again...enjoy the Arrogance!

Billolick, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Regal bronze in color with a perfect frothy head....nose is a bit subdued...malty...caramel and toffee....earthy hops...english style old ale nose....very nice...body is full....creamy....finishes with a nice hit of hops....nice bitterness on the long finish..the taste begins sweet with the caramel and toffee big up front...almost candy sugar like ,but the impressive hop bite on the finish really balances this out...

This is an outstanding old ale...balanced..full of flavor....looks the part too...and just think, I've got the Double Bastard still to try...

ZAP, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of BitteBier
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Um...wow. My beermate and I raved about this one from start to finish. Some beers are interesting in a novel way; others are simply good and balanced. This one is both and then some. Pours a unique ruby-brown color with a respectable amount of head and some active carbonation. From the moment the beer hits the glass, the smell bloodies your nose with a barrage of grapefruit. As the beer warms and the citrus hops scatter a bit, some pleasant malts are detectable as well. The grapefruit notes carry over to the taste, but the flavors evolve nicely over time. By the time I was done, the hops were fading to a dry Scotch-like malty flavor. In between is something of a caramely balance of flavors. Resins cling a lot at first though not unpleasantly. As the taste gives way to malts, the mouthfeel likewise gives way to a richer, softer texture. Despite its intensity, this one is very drinkable. This will be one to savor in the future, as well as to expose my yellow beer-drinking friends to what an assertive, creative brewer can do.

BitteBier, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of silenius
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to go all the way to Ohio (from Chicago) to get one of these since Stone brews are not available in Chicago at this time.

Served from a 22oz. bomber at fridge temp. I popped the top and I could smell the hops immediately. It pours a dark reddish brown that looks just like Lipton tea that has been steeping for a good long time. The head was about 1cm thick and quickly gave way. It laced my glass nicely.

It smells like that Fruit Stripe gum along with some malty sweetness. That is all I got off of it.

It has a wonderful dry sweet taste (not cloying in the slightest) that makes my mouth water. The hops lived on my tongue and invaded my teeth for an eternity.

The beer feels light in my mouth and undistinguished, but the taste is anything but light.

By the end of the bomber, the bitterness overwhelmed my palate and muscled out any nuance in the beer, therefore the 3.5 rating for drinkability. I wanted the sweetness to last and not be overwhelmed by the bitter.

Do I think Stone products are over-hyped? Yes, a bit. Will I have another Arrogant Bastard? Certainly.

silenius, Feb 08, 2004
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,657 ratings.