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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,900 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,900
Hads: 9,920
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 383
Gots: 2,049 | 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
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Reviews: 2,900 | Hads: 9,920
Photo of rkhaze
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/orange color. Nice creamy, densly packed tan head. Left good lace.
Aromas of sweet malt, caramel and spicy/citrusy hops with a bit of acidity. Seemed well balanced in the smells.
While the flavors were not as balanced as the smell indicated, it was nonetheless an outstanding beer. Tangy sweet toasty malt upfront gives way to caramel and spicy hops. Finishes with a juicy hop bitterness accented by grapefruit, pine resin and citrus rind. Excellent!
Awesome mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied with a smooth creamy, slighly oily mothfeel and perfect carbonation.
The drinkabilty was great for such a huge, uncompromising beer. (648 characters)

Photo of shirfan
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, clear mahogany-crimson, with massive amounts of off-white lacing.

A more subdued aroma than I had expected; mainly grapefruit, with a bit of caramel malt. Hints of more estery compounds...raisins or prunes, maybe.

A very complex flavor. Seems like it turns the corner into something different 5 or 6 times within a single sip.
Moderate malt, something between a brown ale and a red. Walks the middle ground between sweet and dry, with a bit of nuttiness to the malts as well. There's a sort of muted softness to the mouthfeel, airy even. 7.2 ABV is very well hidden; citrus and mildly floral hops make themselves known without causing a ruckus. Faint hints of tangy orange and raisin echo in the aftertaste. There's a yeasty, bakery-fresh note as well.

For all the propaganda and swagger, this isn't that beastly of a brew...Ruination (or even the "other demon beer", Maudite) would be a better WMD against the unwashed fizzy beer hordes.

A very nicely balanced beer, for sure... really an excellent and quaffable ale. But I'm downgrading it to "Self-Confident Tough Guy With a Soft Spot For Kittens". (1,132 characters)

Photo of MrNuggets
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber colour with a tan head which takes a while to fade. Smells of hops with a slight citrus backing. Hops dominate upon the first sip. Carmal malt flavors keep the balance. All kinds of stuff going on in my mouth right now. Hard to sort it all out. Even thought the hops are dominate, I have to say that its the malt that carries this brew. Pretty heavy in the mouthfeel department. Two bombers are more than enough. (423 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a truly beautiful clear ruby/amber with a dense, rocky tan head. Very mild carbonation and thick lacing.

Smell: Immediate wave of citrus hop/green apple yeast. Levels off with a dense malty sweetness, with strong cherry and caramel notes. Some grassiness.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Whoa. You'll notice the mouthfeel first, a thick, creamy, slightly milky wonder with enough carbonation to keep it interesting--kicks ass.

The flavor is huge but, despite all the Ronny James Dio devil heads and whatnot, it's actually quite balanced and nice. Chocolate and carmel malt hit first, with nice hints of cherry and dark fruit. There's some smokiness later on, and the bitterness and drying of the hops show up to finish. All of the flavors blend and linger in the aftertaste, and a bit of a Chambord liquor taste emerges. It becomes peppery much later. It's quite something and a bit similar to SN's Bigfoot, although not nearly as hoppy fresh and raw.

Drinkability: Huge, but really enjoyable. I couldn't drink it all night, but I'd could handle another bomber, for sure.

Wow. I think it's actually more of a barleywine than an ale, but whatever it is, it is one tasty mofo. Don't know what's up with the whole Iron Maiden motif, but it's a great beer, I'll be back. (1,286 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap at the Flying Saucer, Ft. Worth
All comments made in comparison to bottled Arrogant Bastard
Aroma: Much more pleasant and hoppy. Juicy (I’m guessing Cascade) grapefruit hops on a more subtle malt base.
Appearance: Dark amber, clear, with a beige head that left a few lace marks.
Flavor: Much more mellow and blended flavors than the bottle. The hops just pop out, they taste fresh and aggressive, but not as, well, arrogant. The malt base just seems to fit better in the overall taste. Except for the fresh hop aroma and flavors, I would guess the keg had aged a bit, which is not out of the realm of possibility.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy with a little hop pucker and chew. It just seemed creamier.
Overall Impression: Extremely enjoyable. I may have to learn to age a few bottles to see if they mellow out to where the kegs seem to be. Where the bottles seem like a full frontal assault on every sensory organ you own, this is more of a controlled takeover, an authoritative, methodical full Swedish massage of every sensory organ you own. If you know the Bastard and you see him on tap, pay a visit. Strongly recommended (1,145 characters)

Photo of halfpgl
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on draught, I was presented with a very dark red mahogany brew with a thin creamy head that clings to the glass all the way to the bottom. The nose did not impress me as much as the toasted malty flavor. The balance of malts to hops was nicely done with just enough bittering bite on the tongue to keep it interesting. The alcohol taste didn't hint to the 7.1%. If you want this as a session beer it will be a short night. (429 characters)

Photo of Hunter
3.26/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brewery, and this beer, have quite a reputation here, so I avoided as much as possible others' reviews before sampling it.

Beer pours out a lovely ruby color, almost like brandy, with thin carbonation and a lasting tan head. Coffee, strong hops, and dark chocolate in the nose, with a back scent of fruit. A wine-like essence emerges as the glass warms to room temperature, along with - dare I say it? - a hint of beefsteak. The astingency is the first thing to hit the palate upon drinking, but it quickly mellows to a smoother hit of hops and sweet malt. The taste of alcohol is predominant. Chimay does a better job in their product of sublimating that high alcohol under other flavors...but given the name of this one maybe that's the whole point. Aftertaste is heavy in smoke, not pleasant but bearable. That smoke hangs around in the mouth for some time between sips. My impression of this beer got progressively more positive as I drained my glass (and at 7.2% ABV, that's no shock).

If beer was wine, I'd classify this as a port. Something to be sipped slowly, savored after a gourmet meal, but this is not a thirst-quencher you'd slug down. Frat boys with bongs need not apply. Certainly a beer to include in your regular rotation. I'll be reviewing it again in the future. (1,294 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick off-white head that slowly fades. The aroma is great! It has a rich malt scent which is enhanced with the presence of beautiful citrous hops. The taste is good. It has a complex malt core which gives it a dark, yet very bitter flavor along with some intense flavoring hops. This brew is truely fantastic. It goes down easy and has a lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great sessions brew. It has great flavor; a good drinker. (547 characters)

Photo of Southernbrew
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, my last Stone brew after a quick jump to Chattanooga. Hopefully this will be in Georgia after July.

Medium-dark brown, nice light tan head.

Nice hop aroma, but sweet maltiness is present too. Light caramels in there and just a light hint of alcohol.

Full body, fairly smooth. Tons of flavors here, am I unworthy? Very pleasant hoppiness, very balancing malts as well. Light caramel. Light fruit flavors show up in the middle. An assertive but not overpowering alcohol finishes it up. Nice lacing the whole way down.

Awesome brew, I'm sure there's things I'm missing, but this is really top notch. (612 characters)

Photo of nixhecks
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 22oz bottle with quite a humorous description on the backside and a cool pic on the front, all painted label. Poured a deep, dark ruby brown color with two finger off white head. Pretty good retention on the head and leaving sticky lace. Aroma is spicy citrusy hops, sweet fruit, with a background of chocolate maltiness - really a pleasant unique aroma. Taste starts as a malty cocoa, toasted grain flavor, and finishes with a really spicy kick from the hops and a bitter, warming alcohol effect at the very end. Excellent beer, and still very drinkable despite the aggresiveness that the back label describes. While it is aggressive, if you like a hopped up strong ale this can't be beat. Very balanced and unique. (731 characters)

Photo of Gasp100
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first (and currently only) Arogant Bastard Ale. Pours a dark, cloudy mahogany with small head and medium lacing. The smell is overpowering Hops - piney, citrus Malts - sweet, smokey, dark ripe fruits, etc.... Man, a little bit (or a big bit) of everything in this here beer. The taste knocked me on my ass... I really mean that. At 7.2% this is a serious brew but man the deep chestnuts, smokiness, ripe fruit, pine, citrus... very serious brew. The initial taste reminded me of another brew "Black Douglas" which is actually a Scotch brew where the alcohol was very prevalent, but the malty sweetness really balanced it out --- the big difference with this brew was the intense hop bitterness that just kept on coming but never overpowered the other flavors. This is no hype, no lie, on my top 5 of best all around brews. I think a case of bombers is warranted... and just think, I've still got Double Bastard hanging out in the cellar.... sweet! One last thing -- for all this beer is offering it's still drinkable... no poundable, but definitely more than one if you're lucky enough to find singles. (1,105 characters)

Photo of moulefrite
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, what a beauty of a beer right out of the gate! Pretty mahogany with bright orange and ruby hues. The head lays thick, and creamy, unflinching, begging to be tasted. The stick is solid all the way. A complex aromatic brew featuring sweet, grainy, breadlike aromas followed by inticing hop bitter. In the mouth this baby is thick and rich, bordering syrupy. A taste delight, once past the lips, the beer drips with flavor-toasty malt, a wonderfull fruitiness mid-palate adds a kiss of sweetness. A well balanced, while never delicate brew. A twangy, peppery, highly assertive hop bitter prevails on the mile long finish. A mouthfull of un-apologetic goodness, and a great way to cap off a fine day off here in Chicago, courtesy of the downright, upright, Jackndan! Thanks for the treat my friend!! (800 characters)

Photo of jazzmac
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Love the "You're not Worthy" story on the bottle. Pours a nice copper color with beautiful lacing of the head. The smell of hops is overwhelming, but not in a bad way, very balanced and enticing. On first taste the hops assault your tongue awakening your taste buds for the rest of the glass. Finishes with hops lingering in your mouth. The beer has lived up to hype and is worth seeking out if you can't get it locally. The intersting thing is the beer seems to change as it gets warmer, the hops almost seperate themselves into different flavor categories as the temperature increases. It would be an interesting test to blind taste the beer at 40 degrees and at 50 degrees to see if anyone could tell if it was the same beer. (728 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I could've sworn I reviewed the Bastard several months ago, but must not have been worthy. Served slightly chilled in a St Bernardus goblet for the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby. Pours a regal dark orange, almost opaque, body with a three finger, beige head. Sticky sheets of lace appear all over the goblet. Impressive appearance!

Aroma: Citrus hops hit the nose first, with orange and cantelope aromas, followed by grapefruit, then pine. Some no-nonsense hops here! Dark fruit aromas, highlighted by raisins, emerge as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Hops resins coat the mouth thoroughly, and a pinecone hops bite tingles the tongue. Nice, medium body.

Taste: Pine and grapefruit are up front in the initial taste. Winesap apple flavors come on as this nears room temperature. Much smoother at room temperature, as plum and raisin flavors emerge, and malt tries to climb onto the palate. Alcohol is cleverly disguised by the amazing complexity. Finish features the brashly assertive, Cascades hoppiness again, with pine and grapefruit in the aftertaste.

Comments: A wonderful elixer, deserving of its hype, and perfectly drinkable. I was surprised by the aggressive hop character, and expected a more assertive malt presence for what is classified as a strong old ale. But, certainly not disappointed in this modern American classic. Wish I had a few cases of this in the cellar! (1,389 characters)

Photo of rdrummer
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting a long time to get my hands on some Stone Brews. It was worth the wait.

Start with the hilarious bomber with "You're Not Worthy" on the front, and "Refrigerator this, numbskull" on the side. On the back of the bottle, Stone actually says that you should forget trying the beer because you probably are sophisticated enough to enjoy it. The experience just keeps going from there. It pours a dark mahognay color with a beige head with tremendous white lacing. The lacing is so thick, I found myself mesmerized by it.

There is a smell of the toasted malt with a bit of hops kicker. I liked the fruity undertones, almost grapey. But the taste is why I was there, and it is unbelievable. A very rich and complex brew with plenty of maltiness, yet with much of the creaminess I associate with darker brews. There was a bit of caramel, fruity undertones, an alcohol kick, and a hops bitterness that came on at the end. This is a very complex, wonderful beer.

It is fruity and smooth in the mouth but that bitterness lingers. It is full-bodied and good from first sip to last drop. And Stone was right, "I am not worthy." (1,144 characters)

Photo of wailingwench
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Foam factor: Poured a beautiful crimson brown with a white billowy head that entertained me untill the last drop. I could stare at a pint of this all night, it's that pretty.

Skunk Factor: Big, bold, and complex. Floral hops with malt undertones gave way to citrus.

Tongueland: Mr. Tongue danced for joy. It is amazing to see a tongue do the Electric Slide. Anyways, the comlexity of this beer was amazing. Started off similar to one of my favorites, Wailing Wench (my namesake!!!). Bold hops overpowered with malt kicking in, and finally hops again. It felt like there was a boxing match in my mouth. Arrogant impressed me as if finished like an Ellicotville Pale Ale, all grapefruit. This fools your pre-frontal cortex into thinking that you are merely drinking grapefruit juice, and thus, can drink as much as you want.

I feel like a crack addict. I know that Arrogant is on tap not even 2 miles from my house. Arrogant is so good that I had to hide my wallet and car keys in order to avoid a bender. I have thought about walking, and would have been down at the bar drinking, instead of writing a review, except for the alligator filled moat that I built to keep my butt at my house, and not down at the bar. (1,221 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure my palate is advanced enough to decipher all the flavors that were blasting my tongue when I tasted this beer. There was sweetness, hoppiness, and a wonderful mix of flavor. It's definitely worth drinking once but I don't know if I'd make a night of it. Great beer overall. (286 characters)

Photo of david23
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown with a billous head that never went away. beautiful lacing to the finish. Aroma of hops and a roated malt that is oh so inviting. Although it has a high ABV content I never felt this got in the way of the superb rich malt that receed for a while to be replace by the hop flavoring only to give way again for more rich malt. Defintely one of the best of it's style. As this will now be distributed locally, I am looking forward to enjoying it when the mood strikes me to just relax and take some time to enjoy a really great brew. (551 characters)

Photo of shapudding
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Love Stone. The label is just so much fun on this bottle, I mean, how can you not love a good beer that insults ya? Pours a nice reddish brown with a thin caramel colored head that is very light in froth and not too much retention. Lightly hop scented and light carbination. Very hoppy beer with good bitterness. Tastes of toffee and caramel, burnt toast, little bit of licorish. Very hoppy and great tasting beer. Good and strong and full of flavor like i like 'em! May not be a good session beer due to the 7.2%, but wonderful and a good staple in my home! (558 characters)

Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler from a 22oz bottle, the beer developed a fair and retentive head. The deep reddish brown liquid is quite enticing. The aroma is dominated by the intense hops, with strong citrus notes - grapefruit, and hints of pine. The taste is surprisingly well balanced. There is a big malt presence which is almost bigger than the unquestionably intense hops. The flavors roll between caramel and grapefruit. The beer was well bodied, and quite drinkable - but not exactly, a session brew. (499 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear very dark ruby brown ale.

Smells sweet and hoppy as hell, it's a hop monster.

There might be some complex flavors in here but the hops obliterates everything else. Bitter in the extreme.

Mouthfeel is ok.

Not really drinkable. Might be able to choke it down.

Flushed the rest of the bottle down the toilet.

RE-REVIEW, yes I am the guy who gave this an overall 2.0.


The first time I reviewed this.

Appearance is still a "Pours a clear very dark ruby brown ale."

Smell is sweet and malty with a banana scent that is rather nice. Nice malt and tutty fruity scent to this.

Taste is still super hoppy although I can taste the other good points mainly the malt and fruity flavors from the hops. Still this is a mighty bitter brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

I can drink this, maybe I just grew to like Hop Monsters? Who Knows? (881 characters)

Photo of kegerator
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had one of these in NYC at The Gingerman this past weekend.

It was a perfect looking beer IMO. Ruby, mahognay in color with a perfect 1/2 finger head. I actually took a pic with my digital, I know...

smell - smelled nice, fruity/citrusy with a sharpness to it is my best description.

taste - first sip hits with some refreshing sweetness, citrus and sugar. It was almost cherry like to me, but I am new at this. Went down very smooth with a slightly bitter aftertaste to it(didn't like that part too much) but it was overpowered by the beginning and middle of the taste.

Mouthfeel - pleasant, smooth

Drinkability - I could have had another very easily, but I was too interested in the 75 or so other beers I had to choose from.

Overall a great beer, and I was not disappointed by the hype, it doesn't make the top of my list but I would definitely drink it again, whether on tap or not. Its not distributed in MD so its hard for me to get my hands on some. (982 characters)

Photo of FormatKid
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased this 22oz bomber at Ziggy’s in Chattanooga. I’ve had it before so the intimidation tactics from the label don’t work anymore.

This beast pours out a rusty, murky, reddish-brown. I think sticky, craggy head rolls up a bit more than two-fingers height. Not a lot of carbonation to be seen, most likely due to the hazy nature of the brew. Lacing grabs on tightly in big globs and slides its way down the glass.

The smell is lovely and complex. Big grape-fruit presence up front, pine and floral aromas make their presence known as well. This however is backed up by a solid as a rock malt background, lightly sweet, and powdery fine. Maybe one of the best smelling beers I have ever encountered.

The taste is all there too. Damn, it’s just so fine. Juicy grapefruit practically explodes across my tongue, revealing a chewy caramel background. Brings to mind a caramel coated hop concoction on a stick, just awesome. Mouthfeel is perfect, lightly-heavy if I had to categorize it. The carbonation is light and playful.

This beer lives up to the hype 100% in my eyes, and I proudly proclaim “I am worthy!” (1,129 characters)

Photo of DaveGood
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has got to be one of the finest strong ales! The bottle alone, not to mention the warning on the case that it was pulled from was enough to get me to try this fine beer.

It poured a deep brown with a ruby-like tint to it. The two finger head was light tan and stuck around for a while before giving way to a nice lace. This is the way that a beer should look!

The aroma was was filled with hops. I distinctly detect the scent of grapefruit before giving was to some sweet malts.

The taste was very complex and hop-filled to say the very least. It begins with a sweet toasted malt taste before giving way to a citrus/grapefruit like hops taste. The tail end is a little bit bitter.

The mouthfeel was surprsingly smooth, given the higher alcohol content. Very well balanced between the hops and malt.

Overall, this beer is definitely one of my favorites. I will be drinking this one fairly regularly. (920 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (777 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,900 ratings.