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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,926 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,926
Hads: 10,061
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 408
Gots: 2,233 | FT: 10
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

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny - a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,926 | Hads: 10,061
Photo of melbow
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great head. Potent smell. Bitter but balanced. Definitely a good beer and I'm never unhappy having one, but never have I thought, "man I could really go for an arrogant bastard..." There are so many better beers out there today.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's in Champaign, IL
Date: None listed
Glass: New Belgium Globe

Stone's Arrogant Bastard is a hearty, malt-forward brew (at least on this tasting; I remember it being more hop-forward before?) that focuses on robust, caramel-like malt with a hint of roast alongside grapefruit-like bitter hops. Generally enjoyable, but I'm hoping this was an old bottle, meaning I need to retry this, as the first bottle I had was interesting with its hops and definitely superb to what I'm rating now.

Pours a 2cm, light tan head of small (bottom) and large (top) bubbles with fairly poor retention. While retention is mediocre, the head leaves good amounts of lacing along sides of glass, eventually reducing to a thin lacing atop the entire body. Body is transparent dark amber brown, with light making the tones lighter and bringing out a reddish tint. Carbonation is readily visible along sides and middle of glass.

Aroma is robust, of fairly heavy brown and caramel malts, soil, wood barrels, slightly bitter and pine-like hops, and a bit of ethanol.

Opens with significant amounts of caramel-like malt sweetness, transitioning to a fairly substantial grapefruit-like hop bitterness with thick malt undertones by mid-palate. Back of the palate brings out some mild roasted malt flavors along with continued hop bitterness and mild ethanol. Aftertaste is of lingering hop bitterness alongside caramel-like malt sweetness. I recall this having a substantial amount more hop flavor, particularly interesting tropical fruit flavors. I wonder if this is an older bottle, well past its prime.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied, with mid-level carbonation that is able to create a somewhat foamy, smooth mouthfeel. Closes out expectedly dry.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber brown with a thick tan head. The head thins but sticks around, with a large amount of lacing.

Aroma is strong hops. Taste is very hoppy, with strong hop bitterness and spice, and a background of malts. The big flavors stay in your mouth. While I wouldn't exactly call this easy drinking, I could definitely drink a few of these.

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Photo of claspada
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of caramel malts and fruity hops. Light pine and tropical fruit.

The tastes is bitter up front with lots of West Coast hops; all kinds of pine and grapefruit. Mixed in are some light caramel and bready malts, but not much. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty good strong ale. A little much on the bitterness for my liking but definitely a great brew none-the-less.

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Photo of beeragent
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. The beer poured a dark brown, forming a creamy 1 1/2 inch head. Lots of thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is a strong balanced mix of hops and malts. Nothing really different, but still good. The taste is a good balanced mix of hops and sweet malt, with a hint of caramel in the middle, and a slight alcoholic finish. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, not a bad beer. I could definitely see drinking this again. Makes a good session ale IMO.

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Photo of Qbdoo
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great looking almond color with a full, frothy head. Aroma doesn't jump out at you but it's got a nice malty scent with a bit of hoppiness. Generally, that's how the taste goes as well, though the malt flavor is fairly complex with hints of brown sugar and molasses. There's a touch of hoppy bitterness as well, especially in the finish. Texture is surprisingly frothy - lighter and bubblier in feel than you would expect for the style. I found that letting this warm a good deal smoothed out the bitterness and brought out the complexity of the malt. A recognized classic and a really solid beer, but one that I always want to like a bit more than I actually do.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bomber of this at my local grocery while getting some ingredients for dinner. Best by 10/21/09 stamped on the side. Poured into my pint glass.

Pours a dirty copper with a HUGE tan head on top. Minimal bubbles rising through. Excellent retention - this looks like a milk shake. Leaves tons of sticky lace and webbing all over the glass. The scent is a little underwhelming. I'm trying to get something out of this, but it's being quite abstinent. Some mild toffee and strawberry Twizzlers is about all I can grasp.

The body is a little slick and oily. Carbonation level is moderate. On to the flavor. Mmmm. Hops! Nice bittering hops right away, but not overly so; this is balanced like crazy. Lots of sweet toffee and caramel even the contest. There's a bit of a charred bread on the finish. Leaves a mildly bitter aftertaste. This is a great strong ale. Why did it take me so long to try this one?!

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber dated best by 9-11-2011
Pours one and a half fingers worth of fairly creamy light brown to tan head. Some lacing sticks to the glass, a good cap sits behind as the head dissipates.

Smells quite honestly like B.O. Wow this is a new one for me. Maybe its skunked but I'm not sure based based on the age, usually the born date is three months before the best by date. This also smells fruity, citrusy, carmel, piney, dank hoppy ness.

Taste blends quite well, piney, Carmel, citrus, juicy oranges.

Mouthfeel is medium. Medium carbonation. The finish is quite a bit of lingering piney, resinous coating oily hops.

Overall this is a solid American strong ale offering. I'm glad I've finally tried this. I'll easily get this one again if I know its fresh. Thank you stone for the bottle dating.
6$ a bomber

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Photo of LPorter33
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber from Martignetti's

Appearance = nice looking dark red, rust brown with just a speck of transparency. Good 1/4'' head which took awhile to fade. Noticable carbonation. Impressive lacing.

Smell = Great fruit like scent detectable - plums & pears. A definite sweet malt presence along with some powerful hops. This smells like it will be very well balanced.

Taste = This definitely packs a punch. Quite bitter upfront but ends with a toasted coffee malt flavor and a tiny bit of sweetness from the malt. Hop kick initially is decent. It's slightly too rough though - I wish they could hide the alcohol just a tiny bit more. It's still an impressive beer with a lot of flavor. I do think it's slightly overrated.

Overall = Definitely try it if you haven't. I wouldn't necessarily seek it out again but would certainly accept one if it came across my path.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Update: 10/29/06
Well it's been more than a year and my, how tastes change. I still think this is a horribly out of balance beer, but somehow, that works for me now. I'm not sure this is something I'd want all the time, but if in in the mood, this is a well crafted hopbomb. Well crafted.

Original Review 3/23/05:
I've been really stoked to try this one for quite a while, would it live up to it's lip flapping arrogance? Not really.

Poured a quite beautiful deep reddish brown with a thick light tan head. Nose is quite hoppy, hints of pine and malt as well. Taste is a bit overwhelming at first, all you taste is the hop bite and pine that comes with it, maybe a bit of the dryish finish as well. After a few sips though I began to detect the malt profile and the fruit notes within.

Overall, too much hops, totally unbalanced. Some like that about this beer, but it's just not my bag. As usual arrogance is all dependant on perspective.


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Photo of BrownNut
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't find the date on the shoulder of this beer, but I bought it from a store that I later confirmed had other Stone product on shelves that was in some cases several months past the drink-by date. I can't find a date on this one at all but I'm pretty sure it's old given the taste and the supporting evidence.

The hop notes are basically gone. It presents itself as a malty beer with the ghost of a piney hop note that reads more like the residue of fireworks after the fact- - you know they were there from the lingering notes, but you know you missed them. I will definitely try this again and revise my rating when I get a fresher one.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler at the store today. Served into a glass mug in two parts. I also have to add the note at the back of the beer was pretty funny and entertained my friends I was drinking with. Onto the beer.

Poured with a beige, one finger head. The beer was dark amber to brown in color and almost appeared black at points. The nose was balanced between pine notes from the hops and caramel sweetness from the hops. The taste was dominated by the hops, although there was a significant malty backbone. Pine flavors came through the hardest. There was a noticeable bitter aftertaste after each sip. The malts were not quite strong enough to shine through the hops. Mouthfeel was heavy with a slight carbonation, about what you would expect. The drinkability was not really high. After the growler, I did not feel I needed any more. The alcohol is not noticeable at all, however.

Overall, a good offering from Stone. It is certainly not my favorite from them. It reminded a lot of Troeg's Nugget Nectar, although I preferred that. Note: I drank over a half and hour and allowed to warm to room temperature. The flavor was enhanced by this and I enjoyed the second half of the beer immensely. A good but not great offering.

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Photo of steveh
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay, everyone's had it but me -- time to remedy that. Never heard of an American Strong Ale, guess I'll just have to judge somewhere between an Old Ale and a Barleywine.

A -- Poured into my Rodenbach snifter: Clear, deep cherry reddish with a dense, light tan head.

S -- Estery fruitiness -- peach-like, caramel malts back, no hops. Light peppery alcohol in the finish. Earthiness with warming.

T -- Rich, chewy caramel maltiness up front that blends into a very spicy, resinous hop flavor. Dried fruit characters in between; not quite vinous -- very smooth. Some cardboard-like oxidation at the finish along with toasted bread characters. Aftertaste is a mellow balance of the toastiness and spicy, resinous -- almost vegetal hops. Some leathery, woody characters with warming.

M -- Mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp and rather spritzy with a medium to light-heavy body.

O -- A decent strong ale. More akin to an Old Ale than anything, but drier than I look for. I wish it had a touch more sweetness to its fruit esters and caramel flavors. It just seems to be a little off-balance somehow.

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Photo of OldYoda
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my standard US Troeg's pint glass, modest head and some residual lacing. A very pretty clear ruby beer, very nice.

Smell is much more subdued than I expected - very well balanced with hops and a definite malt sweetness. Not the hop bomb aroma I was braced for.

Taste follows smell but is extremely well balanced, which I again did not anticipate. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is ok but if there is place to complain on this brew, this would be it. Just does not finish as clean as I would have preferred.

Dangerously drinkable.

All in all, a great beer and well deserving of the hype and it's reputation. I will be back for this one again and again.

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Photo of Clockwork420
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a glass stein.
$4.09 + tax per bomber.

A - Dark red, wood color. Clear with no haze or sediment. Thick, sticky 2 inch head.

S - Hops. Smells bitter, like I IPA. Sort of a grapefruit smell.

T - Initially sweet, then immediately followed with an IPA hops taste. Grapefruit and orange peel tart. After taste leaves me bitter. Even sort of soapy. Pine sap?

M - Perfect carbonation. Sort of a biscuit-y breadiness. Soapy slippery feeling to it.

O - This is a very solid brew. Although its bitterness will turn most people away underneath it seems fairly complex and special. I think if this one (since the IBU and hops type is secret) was labeled as an IPA, I would buy it regularly. Ale like it is not, at least not to my tongue. The higher IBU rating doesnt bother me, but if it was categorized differently, it may change a few people. If this is the companies Ale and its got this high of an IBU, I would be curious as to what the actual IPA they sell might taste like. Not for everyone. Not for the faint of heart. Most are definitely not worthy I think.

Very good. Intricate. Not for the bubbly yellow fans, and I like it that way.

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Photo of GrimGuzzler
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

"You're not worthy"
Poured out of a bottle into a properly cleaned pint glass.

A: Rusty red fills the glass as I pour. A thick, creamy, sticky, head begins to form as the beer nears the brim. Just the colour itself is dense.

S: I can smell the hop bitterness, toasted malts waft around next for some hints of coffee and....is that arrogance I smell?

T: Sweet and smooth at first, those malts present themselves in a mild bodied manner. As the beer rolls to the back of my tongue my taste buds get their asses kicked by hops after being lulled into something of a false sense of security. Complex, but not so much that my head and mouth hurt.

M: Once again, smooth. Enough fizz to pick the beer up and give that heavy malt and hops some....very little...lift.

This beer has been a bastard to my taste buds. It's teased them, confused them, and in the end made sweet tender love to them. But yeah, I'd do it again. If you can't handle IPA's don't bother with this. But if you want to spend $10 for a good time, pick yourself up a bottle of arrogant bastard.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 22 oz. bomber into pint glass

Nice, dark red/brown color. fizzy two finger head, great lacing. Smells like an IPA/Pale little darker smelling. taste nutty, cofee, carmel finish. I have drank this many times but this is the first time reviewing. This is a good beer.

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Photo of joeland
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

apparance- brown color with an off-white head that goes away quickly leaving a nice looking lacing

smell- a weak hoppy smell with a slit hint of malt.

taste- a hoppy taste that suprised me because the hoppy taste is a lot stronger then the smell was. the deeper i got into the beer the more I got a hint of sweet tastes.

mouthfeel- A smooth carbnation mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I'm set with one twenty-two oz of this.

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Photo of baggio
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Finally got to try this hyped beer. Draught at Oliver Twist, Stockholm.

A: Ruby red with a thin lace.

S: Caramel malt and plenty of hops.

T: Wow! Liqorice, bread, chocolate, spring flowers and hops.

M: Smooth with medium carbonation and tiny bubbles.

It's easy to understand why this beer have so high ratings on this site. It is a very complex ale with dipa-characteristics. It is not an easy drink tho, one glass was more than enough :) A sipper for sure! Recommended!

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Photo of countrocula
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gonna make this sort and sweet. Sort of like my last experience whit the BASTID

Sniffer gets hop, decomposing leaves on the forest floor, booze, malt

Nice hop bite. Leaves with a charred sugar caramel sting.

Good carbonation for an ale of this type. Fluidity is good. Cuold be the state of my mouth but by the end of the bottle I had a pooling of Bastard essence on the back pf the palate.

Goes down easy. I'd like this with some sweet BBQ like dripping ribs. So dripping I call them REE-YIBZ. I could also kill about 4 bombers of this and pass out very happy.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured a cloudy deep amber color with an off white heading. Smell is very malty immediatly followed with caramel and orange???.Very little lacing. A good deal of malts and a dry hop taste with a ridiculous bitter aftertaste. Very sticky on the lips. A great beer for tasting but probably not for a heavy session.

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Photo of Auracom
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle on February 25th, 2011 in a C&B tulip. From notes.

A - Very dark ruby that almost looks brown at first. Off-white medium head, good lacing just for kicks.

S - Hoppy nose with some acidity/citrus, malts *might* be in there.

T - Caramel or some initial sweetness immediately followed by a shitload of hops at mid palate. The balance isn't really achieved imo because the hops are just overbearing.

M - Medium body, fine carbonation, ABV is fairly hidden.

D - Just not that drinkable for me because of the hops. Gotta respect Stone though for delivering a brew that is exactly what they claim.

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Photo of lionchow
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with a small white head.

Aroma is of papaya, flowers, honey. Very nice.

Flavor is primarily of the bitterness of the hops, with a sweet malt undertone. Hops are fairly generic in flavor - not particularly piney or citrusy - slightly floral not much. Malt is slightly honey sweet.

Mouthfeel is dry and lingering from the bitterness.

Overall it's a good beer, not great, but good.

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Photo of beeristhefuture
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt caramels are the overpowering flavor in this beer. It's filling and potent. One almost feels like one is drinking a stout, and should be prepared to be very full after this drink. Otherwise, the gasses and nitrogeny feel make this beer creep across the tongue wonderfully, and the hazelnut aftertaste will make this beer something to be glad to have on a cold winter night.

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Photo of happilysurly
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep reddish brown. Minimal head with tight bubbles. I noticed it was pretty thick as I poured and it has some legs to it, taking a bit to settle back down.

S: Its beer like this that are flavorful but not overly aromatic that make me wish I had a better sense of smell. I'll give it a 3.5 because I imagine that a more distinguishing nose would pick up on more than the "fresh" smell I get. Though I will say this: as I get about half way through the glass of beer I feel like I get a better sense of the aroma and can definitely pick up on sweet, malty and burnt caramel smells.

T: Very malty upfront with a bitter finish. Not subtle, but also not over the top. Very little alcohol taste, though, it is only 7.2% ABV so that is to be expected.

M: Beers like this are a bit more difficult for me to enjoy after the first half. The combination of rich malt and bitter finish leave a taste in the back of my mouth that will not go away unless I have some really salty snack foods.

D: Again, I wouldn't want to drink a lot of this in one sitting. I respect this beer for what it is, but there is no getting around the fact that I simply would not want to drink more than a single bottle in a month.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,926 ratings.