Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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9,814 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,814
Reviews: 2,967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 374
Gots: 1,947 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,814 | Reviews: 2,967
Photo of Morningstar
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really love this beer. The first time I tasted it, I knew I would enjoy this ale for many years to come. I really like crisp taste it has. Definitely a beer to enjoy after a long day. It goes well with chicken and buffalo wings. It's well worth the search for a store that carries it.

Photo of Wonka
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
7.2% Alc. Vol.

Appearance – mahogany body; rocky head and a wall of lace; carbonation rises in the body for a long while

Smell – sharp hops and mellow malts; spice

Taste – skyscraper of taste; nice hop malt battle; dark chocolate; caramel; spice; orange rind; some alcohol; hop smacks at the end with a reasonable dose of coffee

Mouthfeel – medium/almost full; some bite on the tongue from bitterness

Drinkability – a bit warming; not crushing on bitterness but the bitterness is well-understood between sips

The boulder-sized Stone is rolling down the hill in your direction and there's really nowhere to go. Arrogant Bastard will hit you straight in the tongue.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Perhaps the prettiest beer I have seen - just a stunning deep cherry amber in color with a magnificent 2" head of tight cream foam that clung like rings on a tree. Nose was of course hoppy with a sweet lightness to it - unusual for such a great visual. Hops right up front on the tongue, then flavors like bread and some sweetness. The term "sweet bitter" came to mind. The only drawback is a noticable chalky aftertaste I could really do without. A very enjoyable drink.

Photo of granger10
2.38/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My first Stone disappointment. This beer did not live up to its hype imo. Pours a ruby red color with darker auburn shades on the side. Sporadic light tan head holds for awhile. Decent lacing along the sides. Aroma is very bitter and sharp. Quite acidic as well. There's some alcohol notes in there too, which I liked. The flavors in this beer simply did not work together. A very sweet caramel/butterscotch taste comes at first but then is soon drowned out by an intensely bitter, slightly piney hoppiness. The hoppiness holds and brings some alcohol fusels in with it and then on the finish the malt comes back with a sickening cloying syrup texture. The finish is horrible. I feel like I need to wash my mouth out with water. This beer is on the thin side and the body can't hold the flavors together. It seems like Stone just threw a bunch of random ingredients into the kettle and this was the horrible result. They have so many good beers, I don't know what happened here.

Photo of ggroller
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. silk screened bottle. Great verbage on the back.

Pours amber with a thin tannish head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing on the glass.

Smells like ALCHOHOL, cinnamon, brown sugar.

The gargoyle on the bottle is very fitting. This beer really punches you in the face and demands your attention. Very balanced, though. I taste the hops along with sweet caramel, brown sugar.

For me, this is very drinkable and could take me through a session although I don't think I'd be able to stand up or see straight after only a few.

This is a beer lover's beer and like the bottle says, not for the faint of heart.

Photo of Vipsanius
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is mohogany colored with a 1 inch tan head that has pretty good retention. It ended up leaving a foam pattern that looked like the shape of Australia on one side and a gouhlish looking lace that looked like it was trying to spell out something...noch?...on the otherside. Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

The smell is very aromatic...hoppy, sweet, piney, and some licorice. The taste is very complex...bitter sweet, caramel, earthy and floral hops, a touch fruity, with a piney and bitter aftertaste.

This beer just kicks your palate's ass; puts it on one freakish rollercoaster that doesn't end till you surrender and quit drinking. The drinkability of this beer depends on how much your palate can take. This is definitely not a beer for a novice drinker.

Photo of cncbofh
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer hates you.... and that's why you keep going back to it.
It's like an abusive spouse. Harsh and coarse and very alcoholic.

The smell hits you right in the nose. Strong aromatics - hops, esters, permanent markers and lots of nose stinging alcohol.
The hops are earthy and piney - similar to sticking a pine branch and needles up your muzzle.

The taste is a punch in the mouth. There are oodles of malts and a slew of hops. Trying to balance these monsters must be a tough job but those arrogant pricks did it! Sweet, sticky and downright bitter as hell.

I highly recommend chilling this one, for two reasons: When it gets warm the beer becomes a rabid wolf and will eat you whole and secondly, you want something to ice your face down with after you've been severely beaten by the bastard.

Vive La Stone!

Photo of misterscooter
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a righteous beer and it definitely kicks you in the arse. It pours beautifully out of the 22 oz. bottle with a deep, dark, red-orange color. A solid, thick head sits on top and disappears at a good rate, leaving bits of lace and foam along the edges.

A very earthy, evergreen smell. Also, some straw smell. Damp straw, even because there is a slightly sweet smell.

Taking it in and holding it, you get the caramel of the malt, very unique and different than most of the malts I've tasted. In the back of the mouth and as you swallow, the hops come out and you get a bite. My first few swallows, the hops were definitely evident, no way to miss them. About half way through, they mellow out (or I'm mellowing out with the alcohol content). A bit of a smoky flavor, like a burnt marshmallow but not as sweet.

This beer will make you cough if you aren't careful when sifting out the flavors. It feels good on the tongue but the bite of the hops and the carbonation get to you after a bit.

This is a special occasion beer, for kicking back on a rainy night. I don't see myself having it very often but it will be high on my list.

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.


Photo of DrJay
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear chestnut red/brown colour topped by a dense tan head. Thick lace was left on the sides of the glass and the head retention was excellent. Very nice to look at. Great combination of malts and hops in the aroma. Hops consist of a raw grassy smell and a light floral aroma. Caramel and toffee come through fairly strong, and there's some very nice ripe fruit in there as well as very light alcohol.

There's a big malt flavour that starts it off closely followed by a pine resin bitterness that lasts all the way into the long, bitter finish. As it warms, the malt becomes more pronounced, with a hint of chocolate showing up. This really helps the flavours mellow and balance very well. Remarkably well balanced, actually. Very full body with moderate carbonation. Bubbles were on the small side and added some smoothness to the slightly creamy texture. Slightly drying at the finish with a bit of alcohol warming.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer. The strong flavours and aromas make it quite distinctive, while the craftsmanship keeps it very balanced and sinfully easy to drink. Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber with no best before date.

Photo of AndIWantYou
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally! I've been meaning to try out the venerable AB since.. well.. since I discovered good beer. My last attempt met with failure when Vintage Cellar was temporarily out of stock, but here it is today. 24 ounce bottle with the devil on the front and a lot of talk on the back...

I love the cranberry red color of this beer. The cappucino head was not something I expected (I would have guessed white or off-white) and didn't stick around too long. Smells much sweeter than it tastes; the hops cut the sweetness just enough. A little hop bitterness and a little alcohol warmth. Almost a vodka-like quality when I swallow (not so much the alcohol but the flavors). Fills the mouth with just enough body but not overly much.

I'm not sure this beer lives up to the hype on the bottle, though. Sure, most people don't like strong beers like this, but I don't think it's any less palatable to a BMCer than a DFH 60 Minute or even a SNPA.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Believe the hype. I had had this beer once before, unfortunately the first time was not very "memorable" if you know what I mean. For a beer that has traveled across the country it has held up remarkably well.

Appearance: Deep mahogany, the type of beer you'll notice from across the room.

Smell: Crisp, clean, smokey, pine and orange.

Mouthfeel: The smallest sip (full)fills your mouth. Nice follow thorough from front to back.

Taste: Reminds me of the smell of a campfire on an early fall night. Not very descriptive, I know, but it's one of those tastes! Caramel, chocolate, fruity.

Drinkability: Fantastic, I am 1/4 way through a pint, several satisfying burps and I am on the verge of being unable to type. Look for posts later.

Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber with hint of red in color. Nice mocha colored head. Grapefruit scented aroma. Extremely creamy feel with a wonderful mix of citrus and pine hop flavor. Not as over the top as I was expecting. The hop flavors are there and are definitely dominant. But it is a very well balanced beer, with a strong malt base. As the beer finishes, the bitterness really pops out at you and then trails off with a lingering flora hop flavor on the tongue. Happily much better of a balanced beer than I was expecting.

Photo of beertastegood
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful amber with a creamy, rocky tan head. Smells of citrus hops, orange peel and a bit of sweetness...maybe a bit of raisins in the aroma as well.

Taste is very complex. I can discern a good amount of malt flavor that is balanced almost perfectly by the hop bitterness. Finish is hoppy and dry. The alcohol content is hidden very well. Drinkability is low to medium.

An excellent beer. Hard to describe...have one for yourself.

Photo of bnuttz
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy ruby color into my pint glass. A fluffy, creamy dark tan head forms and remains for quite some time. Smells of sweet caramel and fruits. No real hoppiness registering on the nose. A strong sweet malt backbone is the base of this one. Its full of caramel and dark fruits. A citric hop bitterness hits hard next. The bitterness is lingering and stays with the pallate for some time. The alcohol makes sure its presence known towards the end. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, great for the style. I like this beer, not my favorite example of the style, I think I fell into the hype a little bit, but nonetheless a great beer. Thanks a lot to prostman for the trade.

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

On tap at Chumley's in Indianapolis

This beer is trully a different beast on tap than it is out of a bottle. The garnet color was offset well by a tannish head that stuck around quite awhile. While there's some balance, this beer is all about hops. A sip is like taking a bite out of a grapefruit. Great beer to sip, but one is enough.

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

Finally had this bad boy on tap at Redbones in Somerville, MA.
Pours a dark rust color...almost scaring away the other patrons, but I put their minds at ease.
Produced a full finger of white head which disappeared too of the most impressive lacings I have seen to date.
Served a bit too chilled, so not all of the flavors were emanating form the pint...mostly sweet malt and a subtle aroma of fruity hops coming out.
I have come to realize that AB combines all of the qualities that I have learned to appreciate over the years....a nice burst of sweet maltiness up front, with a nice blend of fruity hops with no real sense of the alcohol present. Finish is bitter, but does not linger on the pallet.
The mouthfeel is not thick, but is by no means thin...the perfect carbonation makes this brew totally drinkable for its style.
This is my first experience w/ this brew on tap and I am really glad Redbones had it in it's rotation...I am worthy indeed!

Photo of JackStraw22
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: slightly cloudy amber red body, about an inch or off white head. Some pretty good lacing.

smell: Smells a lot like a hoppy barleywine, very malty and a good dose of hop aroma. The malt arom is sweet, but not fruity, more like candy, wonderful.

taste: wow, lots going on here. Everything is so well balanced, though. Very malty and bitter but all just right. A nice warming from the alcohol to finsih it off. Heaven.

mouthfeel: kind of velvety yet not sticky.

drinkability: excellent. For such an intense brew, it's easy to want more.

Photo of carln26
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How do you start with this beer. Deep mahogany with ruby highlights. Thin light brown head. Nose is dates and figs from the malt along with grapefruit orange with a mild doughy character. Great depth of flavor with layers of sweetness from the malt. It starts as candy, changes to the date/fig component and becomes spicy like a carrot cake after a while. Smooth mouth feel medium drinkability.

Photo of Joey7F
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrogant Bastard Ale is one of those beers that you hear about and if you are lucky enough to not live in Tampa Florida, you can buy it at your local liquor store.

Fortunately my friend from Colorado brought 6 for me. I paid a premium for it, it was worth it because having 6 large containers of liquid surrounding a video card with a few usb cables hanging off scares the NSTB people...he practically had to drink the beer to prove that it was not dangerous.)

The head on this beer lasts forever, and pours a dark orange (thing of beauty) It has a strong smell, but you can only really smell it when you are on top of it. It tastes like an ESB and it is good chilled, it is fantastic at room temperature. The mouthfeel is like that of a good stout and the drinkability is good, but at 7.2% abv you probably won't want too many.


Photo of whartontallboy
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge frothy head crowns a nice brown pour and leaves lace all over my snifter. Smell is hoppy and alcoholic with some malt straining to sneak through. The taste is hoptacular, but it's balanced well by a malty sweetness and candied fruit taste. The sweetness hides the alcohol pretty well, and then a nice hop and caramel interplay starts on your tongue. Quite entertaining. I'd label this one as medium-to-full bodied, and the complexities really shine through as it warms up a bit. Not just a clever bit of marketing, this one kicks ass, like all the other Stone brews I've had.

Photo of dgallina
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby with a mammoth and rocky off-white head. Leaves a foamy layer and very solid lacing on the sides of the glass. Smells thickly and sweetly malty, with strong piney hops and an undercurrent of grapefruits and slight banana-like tropical fruits. Smooth and quite creamy, with powerful and chewy resin-like pine flavors. The initial hop kick is followed-up with chunky sweet caramel malts, which are interwoven with the hop flavors through the drink. Chewy, smooth, and very satisfyingly creamy in the mouth. A really good American-style strong ale.

Photo of Knuckles
2.08/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I just don't get the accolades this beer gets. This beer is, to me, a very simple but oddly discordant brew. So at the risk of getting flamed, here goes.

Appearance: The color, initially, is attractive. I was able to pour a nice head with little effort, and it's a fairly deep ruby, and not unappealing.

Smell: Fairly malty, but in a cloyingly sweet kind of way. Then, in the finish, there's this weird whiff of hops that really doesn't seem to belong. What in the hell is going on with this beer?

Taste: Malty at the start and in the middle, but not in a way I would view favorably. Almost a brown sugar (dark corn syrup?) kind of sweetness to it, that then has this complete non-sequiteur of a hop finish. Don't get me wrong, I love hops (and when used wisely in an stronger beer, they can be impressive as hell: Pike XXX Stout, for example), but these just don't belong. Are they the wrong type, or just work poorly with the malts? I don't know.

Mouthfeel: Initially, upon seeing the color, I thought this would be a warm, velvety presence in my mouth. Disappointingly enough, it wasn't. Very thin, and just not what I expected.

Drinkability: This beer is comprised of individual elements that simply do not work with each other. The aroma doesn't work with the taste, the malts don't work with the hops, the taste doesn't work with the mouthfeel. What I found, in this tasting, is that the colder the beer is served, the more coherent it is. As you allow it to warm to proper temperatures, the various elements seperate themselves from each other and become even more discordant. Damn thing can't even warm up right.

I've now had this twice in my life (Christmas of 1997, right after it came out, and just now). Both times my impressions were the same, so I won't be having it again. Arrogance is a great marketing tool, I just wish they had a beer that was worth being arrogant about.

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

Appearance: Dark, ruby-tinted brown. Impressive head of yellowish foam.

Smell: Rich, toasted malt and a huge hop aroma.

Taste: Very toasted, nutty malt with a bouquet of hop flavors that alternatively remind me of grapefruit, dried pine needles, lemongrass and peppery basil. Finishes lingeringly with a bitter dryness.

Body: Crisp, surprisingly light mouthfeel.

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

Poured a very dark jewel like amber with tan and rowdy head.

The first thing I got from this beer was big piney hops, followed quickly by sweet grains and alcohol.

The hops with this beer are massive, high alpha oil tough guys, but they fit quite nicely with the huge malts and ABV. Great caramel flavor.

Good C02, slick and dry finish.

A beer to be reckoned with. I'll usually take a dare, and dares are rarely this pleasurable. Thanks to karst for the treat. Yee-oww!

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,814 ratings.