Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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9,290 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,290
Reviews: 2,836
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 300
Gots: 1,321 | 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: 9,290 | Reviews: 2,836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedneckChemist
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my favorite pint glass

Appearance: Beautiful orange-brown beer with light beige head. About two fingers with good retention and impressive lacing.

Smell: Nice balance here. Sweet malts are there, but there is no doubt that hops live here.

Taste: Wow! There is a lot of depth to this flavor. Outstanding! The hops, piney and earthy, are absolutely the centerpiece of this beer, but the malt comes through to give wonderful balance to this brew. Slight alcohol warming lets you know its working.

Mouthfeel: With so many flavors going on in this beer, it is a mouthful. Medium-bodied feel gives room for the explosion of flavors that lie beneath.

Drinkability: On flavor alone, I could drink this all night long. However, with the amped-up abv, I believe it best to limit these to one or two in a sitting.

Highly recommended beer! There is so much going on in this beer that it is better experienced than explained. I keep a spare in the fridge to share with any misguided friends that wonder in with inferior beer in their arms. At least for once they get to experience what a real beer is all about.

Photo of travisd13
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is review #1 for me!!

What’s left to be said?
This is old faithful. When in doubt the Bastard will always treat you well.

Served from a slightly-chilled 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Pours a very dark red color, with a thick tan head about two fingers deep.

The smell is complex, citrus, caramel malts, and a light hint of hops.

The flavor is as good as the smell. Not an IPA. A bit of a tease to the taste buds between hops and malt. Get ready for a ride!

The mouth feel is clean and carbonation levels are first-rate. For the strength of this beer it is very drinkable!

Enjoy it if you get the chance! Cheers

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

22oz into pint glass at 50 degrees

Hard pour yields three fingers of frothy mocha colored head atop a dark red body. The head gradually falls and leaves panels of lace decorating the glass. A swirl of the glass kicks up a bit more head after it has fallen.

Strong scent of caramel and fruity citrus hops evident as soon as I cracked the bottle.

This beer is a war between malty sweet caramel and bitter grapefruit rind hops. The spicy bitter hop flavor lingers into the finish encouraging another sip. Thick bold taste which ends crisply.

Nice rich medium-thick mouthfeel with prickly carbonation.

The drinkability is very high. The alcohol is borne well and I'm wishing I had another bottle.

I've had this beer many times before but this is the first time I've reviewed it. This Bastard never fails to please.

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

After all the hype I was excited to finally try this one. Sampled at Eulogy, in Philadelphia.

Appearance: Dark, tarnished copper in color, khaki colored head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Citrus, caramel, roast malts. Complex.

Taste: Delicious and interesting. Well-balanced, not overly hoppy or overly malty. Flavor profile is similar to the smell: citrus, caramel, roast.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, good body.

Drinkability: High!

Photo of beerphan
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber -> nonic
no date

Pours a clear deep dark rust that shines amber in the light. The chunky gigantic head settles to a big old pillow and leaves cobs of tanned lace all over the glass. Carbonation appears medium but quite persistantd

Nose: Caramel malts with a grassy hop back. Not very potent. Alcohol jumps out after a while.

Taste is mostly a quick sweet caramel malt, followed by intense dry bitterness. The hops are present in bitterness, but lacking in desirable flavor. A little medicinal tinge on the finish.

A nice full mouthfeel.

I found this to be an enjoyable ale, but failing to live up to its hype. Lacking the hop flavors i've read about in others reviews. Maybe an older bottle. Goes straight to the head.


Photo of auntfloyd
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is review #100 for me, and fittingly enough, its the ale that started it all for me, Arrogant Bastard.

Served from a slightly-chilled 22oz bomber into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

Pours a very dark red color, almost black at times, with a large tan head that sticks around. Very nice looking ale.

The nose is complex; although citrusy West Coast hops are the most noticeable aspect, there is a definite component of sweetish caramel malts, especially towards the end. Fairly balanced, although tending towards the hops side of things.

The flavor delivers on what the smell promises. This is a big ale, filled with big flavors: citrus hops on hand, and sweet, caramel malts on the other. They blend and play off each other very well, although, as is the case with most Stone ales, the hops come out the winner, with a distinct bitterness at the end. Still, this is not an IPA, and the malt notes are well represented.

The mouthfeel is good; the consistency and carbonation levels are excellent. Drinkability is high, especially for an ale of this strength.

For me, and many others, Arrogant Bastard pretty much defines the concept of the Big Beer This is an experience anyone who likes beer should have. Definitely one of my favorite ales, and one of the top overall, as far as I'm concerned. There's a lot of hype around this ale, but there's a reason for it.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from 22oz bottle(room temp) a clear deep amber with a huge head of foam that just won't quit. Solid layer with lots of lacing.

The smell is very hoppy. I note grapefruit in big abundance.

The taste on first sip is hugely hoppy. Lots of citrus that makes your mouth want to pucker but just before it does, the malt moves in and somewhat tames the hops. No, more than that. The malt actually takes over the flavour and I'm not talking really sweet caramel malt...wait...yes I am. Wow. You fooled me. ;^) Boy, is this a treat.

Further sips in and I'm getting more of the balanced flavours but mind you, while the hops and malt seem to be working in unison, I cannot deny that the said flavours are as big and bold as the great outdoors. Like the label says, this is an aggressive beer and it refuses to let you just sit there and reach a comfort zone; when you're sipping on it, it takes center stage and all others things going on around you become mere side shows. What an egotistical brew and...I'm loving it!

Bottom line: A fantastic brew that will earn your attention whether you wish to or not. Highly recommended!

Photo of gpcollen1
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky and evil dark brown into my Smutty Big Beer glass. Ruby highlight made out when the light hits just right. Other than that, relatively inpenetrable. Head rises a sturdy 1/2 inch and then relaxes a bit. Hops and roasted malt on the nose. Smells akin to a hopped up brown ale with some sweet assed roasted and chocolatey malts.

Hops hits the tongue a running. It takes a bit for the roasty sweeteness to come through. You pick it up quicker as the glass empties a bit. Hints of alcohol come through as the carbonation fizzles on the tongue, drying it out with an ice scraper and then slathering some fat bittering hops on the acrape wounds.

Glad I finally got around to reviewing this. It is truly wonderful.

Photo of AppalachianTrout
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice brown color with a tan head - not much carbonation on the pour. The smell is a pleasant fruity smell. This beer is very well balanced and is just a great beer that I could drink over and over again. Great mouthfeel, excellent taste with a fruity aftertaste.

Photo of jockstrappy
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany-brown color with a creamy tan head that leaves a soap like lace behind. Aroma is very light here, just a fruity hop note is all. Taste is a buttery malt presence up front, that smoothly transitions into a blend of citrus hop flavors, orange peel bitterness, and alcohol warmth. Finish is fairly clean with a lingering orange peel effect.Thicker body, with smooth carbonation provide a heavy, yet pleasant mouthfeel. Drinkability suffers only from it's ABV.

Good beer, but I would like to try it closer to it's source.

Photo of kernalklink
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown with nice head retention- great fresh hop aromas cascade off the pint glass- cirtusy piney- nice. Flavors are all over the place; a somewhat spicy, fruity, alcoholic malt, with an oatmeal thickness and slight sweet character atttempts to fend off the assertive hops- no way. The finish is a sticky hop bomb with some malt along for the ride. Very nice, wish there was some on tap right now....

Photo of raid765
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near perfect ruby brown color with minimal carbonation.The smell is deep and rich, but not at all overpowering. The taste is a surprising combination of depth of flavor, smoothness, and pure potency. The hops and the malt stand alone on their own merits, but are delivered in a perfect balance. The mouthfeel is unusually light for beer of this nature, but not at all disappointing. As one of the best beers I have ever tasted, the drinkability is good to say the least.

Photo of yelterdow
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber served at a few degrees over fridge temperature in a pint glass. Best before 05 09 07.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear fiery orange with chestnut and deep amber tones... really quite a beautiful color. On a good pour, the head rises quickly to a full three fingers... and it stays there for minutes. Eventually the big, soapy head begins its digression... leaving craters while retaining much of its mass. The lacing is fantastic, leaving gobs of sticky sheets behind. Big.

Smell- A simply incredible balance of huge, juicy hops together with a rugged, yet bready malt backbone. The more I dive my nose into the glass, the smoother and more balanced the aroma. I do sense an alcohol presence, although in no way does it interfere. I can't wait to taste this.

Taste- A full bodied tribute to the bigness of hops and malts, with a bonus kick to the head in ABV. Wonderfully intense, it challenges the timid beer drinker for sure... these are really big flavors. Wildly wicked bitterness in the back of the mouth, carrying the malt profile somehow right along with it. There is a unique interplay of sweet vs. bitter that is executed better here than in any other beer of this type. Definitely well deserving of the big ratings.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A "wimpy" texture is all we get here after all this haughtiness? Surprisingly, most of the carbonation of this beer is released and spent in the enormous, magnificent head. Thin on its way in the mouth, it never develops an interesting enough body to showcase the massive character... but since the flavor holds its own, it's not a dealbreaker. With a smile, I gulp and belch the rest of this ale down, realizing that one of these is enough... but damn I'm enjoying this tasting.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the Draught House in Austin.

A: Beautiful dark, mahagony, red color with a good amount of head and lacing on the glass as it's consumed.

S: Without a doubt, one of the biggest complextity of hops and malt flavors I have every experienced in a beer before I even tasted it. I don't even know where to start other than I got a wonderful array of fruity hops and sweetness throughout the sniff.

T: A huge amount of flavor hits the tongue right up front including, the incredibly fruity hops and malt all seem to blend together into one. Most of the taste seems to have kind of a cherry like sweet flavor that stands out more than the other fruity flavors. Alcholol comes through and warms the throat some as it's fairly potent, but not excessive. One good thing that Stone Brewing Company did was not overdoing the bittering hops on this brew, as they are defenitely there, but don't overwhelm. At the end of the sip, there is a huge sweetness that comes through that leaves a long sweet aftertaste.

M: The body of this brew is very good, not watery, plenty of mouthfeel, just a tad on the sticky sweet side.

D: This brew would get an good rating for drinkability from me if it weren't for the excessive sweetness at the end. In my opinion, the sweet finish just sticks around too long, and I found myself wanting a glass of water by the time I finished the pint. I know it seems kind of strange to have such a large gap between dinkability and flavor, but this brew is defenitely not meant to be a session beer. That said, the complexity of this beer is defenitely something that should not be ignored. Also, watch out for the kick of this brew, as the ABV is nothing to sneeze at.

Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown to a deep red color. Nice one and half finger head, which departed rather quickly. A lot of lacing. Very nice looking.

Smell: Big time malts, sweet caramel and toffee, big time pine. You can literally smell the arrogance rolling off of this one.

Taste: This initially tastes sweet. Definitely can taste some caramel and a hint of vanilla. Very nice malty taste to it as well. There's also a bitter hop hit at the end. Love it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This is a great beer. It's got a nice, sweet taste to it and evolves into a rush of bitterness. This really is one of my favorite beers. Definitely a regular in my fridge. But, one bomber is enough for me. No more than that. Overall, I highly recommend it. Truly a classic. Sure to bring out the arrogance in all of us.

Photo of phissionkorps
2.23/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

When I saw the bottle, I absolutely had to try this beer. Before opening the bottle, I looked it up on this site...I had such high hopes, but then the taste...

This beer is godawful. I have no idea why it got such high reviews. I couldn't even finish the stuff, as my taste buds had decided to mutiny.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bottle. This one poured dark amber with nice fat tan head that left great lacing. Strong hops and malts greet your nose and the richness takes over your mouth in a hurry. Flavor is sublime. Hops are agressive, yet still under control This is everything a craft beer should be. Yum, yum, yum. Love this one.

Photo of WilliamHardgrove
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first taste of a cask-conditioned ale and I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was not what I thought I would. If nice clear deep amber color and rich head had me excited. The smell was very heavy on hops, which a rep from Stone told me were Centennial hops. He then told me about how the dry hopping process worked before I took my first sip. The malt I expected from the Bastard wasn't as apparent as I thought it would be, however, despite the hoppiness it was a very smooth drink. I anxiously await my next chance to try a cask ale and hope I enjoy it just as much.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep red in the glass with a quickly collapsing head.

Aroma - Piney hops and roasted malt with the hops dominating. Strong aroma - no need to bury your nose in the glass to get a whiff of this one.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The flavor keeps your mouth busy. Starts with malt and some sweet caramel with roasted flavors. Then for a half second, you notice that this one has some alcohol right before the hop flavor takes over thorough a dry finish and into the aftertaste. Every time I take a drink, I notice some new detail, but the general description above holds true.

Drinkability - I am not worthy, but fortunately they still let me buy a bottle and taste this fantastic brew. I wouldn't want this at a summer picnic after a day in the sun, but fortunately for me it is February. This is highly drinkable and enjoyable as there is nothing about the complex profile that isn't incredibly enjoyable.

Photo of blakesell
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Small creamy head, almost like a cream ale or dry stout.

As expected from Arrogant, very hoppy aromas, Centennial dry hopping apparent.

Tastes much better than standard Arrogant. Smooth and drinkable, but still the hop bomb that the Bastard is known for. Worth some hype by any means, but the Smoked Porter and Old Guardian '06 were easier drinkers.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany color, but probably a bit lighter that the original. Thick creamy, nearly white head, with excellent retention and lacing. Seems very standard for a solid cask beer. Big hoppy aroma. Centennial hops seem to be the showcase, as floral and citrus notes are present. Toffee, caramel, and a bit of fig are somewhat hidden behind a great amount of floral, citrusy, and piney hops. The creamy feel and low, soft carbonation make this treat oh so drinkable. Thank you Stone for bringing this to Boston's as part of the Most Arrogant Pub celebration. A real treat to have a cask beer like this.

Photo of mcallister
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours much differently than the carbonated version. Dark brooding deep cooking caramel. Thick nearly white head. Significant lacing. Very nice.

Well it smells like cask beer. A metallic aspect that isn't too apetizing. Hints of toffee, with a dose of hops but not much more.

Very nice. Toffeed malt leads way to hints of fig, raisin, pine hop with very rustic earthy tones. Hops are slightly resiny and sustained. Alcohol is well hidden yet is still there.

This beer being cask makes it just too drinkable.

Photo of BadRockBeer
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type Sampled: 22 fl. oz (650ML) brown, crown top bottle. Red and white two tone silk screened label, no freshness date. Label reads “You are not worthy” Something tells me they may be right.

Appearance: Pours a nutty brown in color, slightly hazy, Very thick. Reminds me of fresh motor oil. Great 2 finger rocky head. Extremely dense, slides down the side of the pint with every drink. Nice tight lace.

Smell: Big piney hops. Toasty malts.

Taste: Huge piney hops, very dominating in the taste especially the resiny aftertaste. Sweet caramel malt flavors can be distinguished as well as an understated alcohol note.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, which surprised me due to the thickness in the pour. Soft carbonation, lightly warming. Finishes dry and biting.

Drinkability: This is one of those occasional treat beers or maybe just when your feeling extra arrogant!

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

The beer looks brown as it pours from the bottle, but is more reddish/orange in the glass. It is slightly cloudy with a moderate head. The smell is hoppy and spicy. The taste is also strong on hops (with a touch of pine) backed by toasty malt. The mouthfeel is smooth and full. The biggest problem with this beer is that if you become accustomed to it, other beers won't ever taste the same--they'll always seem more watery, weak on flavor, and low on hops by contrast. For me it has become the standard according to which I judge all beers. As the beer warms, more flavor, more complexity comes through in both the smell and the flavor. It goes great with pizza.

For all its heavy dutiness it is actually quite drinkable (though I wouldn't want to drink it all the time). At 7.2% it is strong enough to provide a nice buzz with just one 22 oz. bottle, so you don't need to drink as much of this as of other beers. For me this is the perfect hybrid between a session beer and a sipping beer.

Photo of rdickey
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown into my Chimay goblet. One-finger off-white head dissipates slowly leaving big sheets of lacing.

Smell: Lots of piney hops combine with roasted malt. Very enticing.

Taste: There’s a lot going on here. The roasted malts do a surprisingly good job of balancing out the massive hops, which you might otherwise expect to knock things out of whack.

Mouthfeel: Excellent. The hops finish things off with a nice bitterness and leave you wanting another sip.

Drinkability: As the label (hilariously) advises, this is not a beer for everyone. If you’re in the mood for a serious American ale, though (as I was tonight), you could drink these all night. At 7.2%, that would of course be a somewhat dangerous proposition.

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,290 ratings.