Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,914 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,914
Hads: 9,986
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,129 | 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: 2,914 | Hads: 9,986
Photo of chriscolby
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottlecap told me I wasn't worthy, but I plowed ahead regardless.

Amber-ruby colored beer with nice, creamy head. Solid, American-style hop nose supported by malty aromas and sweet, crystal malt aromas. The aroma is balanced towards the hops, but the malt isn't completely overpowered.

To me, the flavor seemed more balanced than the aroma, with the malt making a bigger impression. The malt is big and chewy, which helps to hide the substantial amount of alcohol (7.2% ABV) in this beer. The initial bitterness is big, almost punishing, and hop character follows through into the flavor and aftertaste, which is a bit coarse. The beer is full-bodied, with a mouthfeel that seems to me to be a mix of creamy and prickly. Very substantial without being cloying or satiating.

This is a big bruiser of a beer. Everything about it is upfront and in your face. It has a nice three-way balance between the hops, malt and booze, which to me are all at their maximum for a drinkable (as opposed to sippable) beer. A little more of any one, and I'd have to slow way down. My highly subjective impression is that none of the elements (hops, malt, booze) seem integrated into the other elements, but rather are simply opposed to each other in near-perfect balance -- or as if all three were trying to get through a doorway at once and were hindering each other's prgress. Or maybe it's just the booze talking. Or maybe it's true -- I'm not worthy! Man, now I need another one of these.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear ruby russet hued pour into me Troegs pint glass with a good 1/2 inch khaki cake like head released from a beautiful BA brownie points garnering painted double duecer browner.

Full scents erupt easily from this drinker! Tons of cinnamon, fruitcake & West Coast style hops and buiscuity floury bread dough fly outta this glass like there's no tomorrow. Scents are reminiscent of a Barleywine.

A rugged balance of malts and hops duke it out with the vigor of a boxing match. Back 'n forth. Sugary thick body and malts ending with a compact yet pronounced long hops finish. Almost taste like a pancake with Aunt Jemima. A she warms, the awl-kee-hawl essence is clear.

Thick syrupy sizzle and body to this heavyweight. Due to the big 7.2 % ABV and thickness, this is not an all nighter. One 22 oz.'er does me in for some "You're not worthy" Arrogant Bastard.

Last swigs: Just an overall decent brew from STONE; one of the top breweries in the great U.S. of A. Pale Ale to the extreme. This is a mega tough brew!

Beer is good. Happy Arrogant beering.

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Photo of wyllder
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this twice on both bottle and tap now.

My first bottle experience bordered on undrinkable, but since then things have changed a bit.

Apperance: Pours a deep, muddy brown with an ample head.

Smell: Lots going on here. Bitter hops, with perhaps some chocolate, cloves and coffee on those. Not easy to figure out all the flavors floating over this.

Taste: The first sip pulls in a good solid wall of hop bitterness. It's a wall you have to chew your way through before finding the some slight fruity hop flavors and caramel malt background on the midsip. The hops aren't gone though, and come back to leave a dark, musky bitteness on the palate, taunting you to take the next sip.

When I first tried this, I would have said you were crazy if you thought it was drinkable. Well, I don't think that anymore, but this is sure a beer you'll want to build up to. Like many of Stone's brews, this one can wreak havoc on your palate if you're not prepared.


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Photo of cypressbob
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

660ml bottle, bomber

Pours with a dark ruby body. Foamy tan head, decent retention, good lacing

Smell, aromas of strong malt, alcohol aroma, strong hop bitterness coming through, flowery aroma

Taste, hop bitterness comes through, dry malty aftertaste, herby feeling on the tongue, so many levels of complexity, slight sweetness also, thick toffee and caramel body, some thick malty body

Is this stuff legal? A fantasic ale, not something i can get over here at all, but its something i'd love to always have in my fridge....what i would do for this shit, i would kill, maim etc, i dont care, a fucking UK distributor is what we need!


Second bottle, from francisweizen, amazing yet again, the smell is amazing, thick sticky hops and a malty alcohol body, brilliant

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Photo of cbl2
3.43/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Note: On tap @ The Chapter House, Ithaca, NY 6-25-04


Crystal clear ruby-brown with 1/4" tan head that has good retention.

Nice floral bouquet. Very hoppy with almost no malt presence.

I thought my taste buds had changed enough to enjoy this, but I was wrong. Pure hoppy bitterness through and through. Some candied fruit/grapefruit emerge 3/4 of the way through, but it's too little too late.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark opaque reddish brown. Thick, rocky brownish head and gooey lace.

Pine sap and rustic malt are rioting on the aroma.

Jumping pine bitterness on first taste. The hops are chewy yet, are not harsh or rough. The key word is balance. Earth dryness on the finish. Long beautiful bitter aftertaste. Rustic barley flavor supporting the luscious hops and the concealing the alcohol.

Smooth, but not creamy, slightly slick with hops oils.

I was just going to give this a 4.0 for looks, then I took the bottle into consideration.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time trying this one. Bought a 22ouncer, love the bottle. Pours beautiful mahogony amber red color. Has ample carbonation with a good deal of bubbles rising to the top. The head is about two fingers wide, tan and very creamy. The head is so creamy, in fact, that it sticks around to the bottom of the glass, something that I have witnessed seldom. There is a good deal of Belgian lace that clings thickly to the glass throughout.

The aroma is subtle and hard to pinpoint, but is very pleasant. The first taste, full of creamy foam is wonderful. The abv is somewhat apparent throughout with a strong alcohol flavor, but definitely not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is tingly on the roof of the mouth with ample carbonation and hop flavor. This is a very drinkable beer and is not for everyone, like the label says, "You are not worthy".

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Photo of andyo
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer. I'm really starting to like old ales.

Split a bomber with my wife. First thing I noticed was a nice and thick head. No real aroma to speak of. Nice dark ruby red color. Taste was very thin, and bitter as all get out! As this beer warmed up it became more complex. Nice doughy flavors with some fruit and a faint whisky finish. Hey, that's what I tasted at least!

A real nice beer! As I stated earlier, I'm really starting to like these beers. After having an Old Woody (thnks to Weefishheads), and trying a Batch 6000 a few weeks ago, I'm starting to favor this style more and more.

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Photo of joecast
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thin layer of foamover a dark ruby colored beer.lace clings to sides of the glass.
aroma is difficult to figure out but pleasing. something like a doughy alcohol smell.
the flavor starts out thin but fills out as it warms. the bitterness is all over the place. start, finish, front and back. this goes well with the warming of the alcohol. with all this going on though, the maltiness was always enough to stand up to it.
if the head ever gets below a satisfactory level, give the glass a swirl. this never failed to form a nice finger sized head.
mouthfeel and drinkability are both high, with the quality making you want more despite the sheer power of the beer.

bottle serving 9/4/04:
the last bottle to survive the trip back from the states. i had been saving it for a special occasion, but watching my team get beaten in the first week of the finals (and thus losing five games in a row after being in first place) i needed some cheering up.
compared to my on-tap review, this sample has a much more profound, bready aroma.
the bitterness is so well supported by the maltiness and just noticeable strength of the alcohol.
the review characteristics have been adjusted up by 0.5 for appearance, smell, and drinkability to reflect and average of the two serving types. basing this only on my bottle review, im sure there would have been a 5 or two in there.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

This is my first sample of anything from Stone Brewing. Nothing else I have ever had tastes quite like this.Very, very hoppy, and being that I am not a hop fan, I did not care for that taste like I thought that I would. Poured a dark garnet copper red colour with a dirty sand-like head. The head faded away to a thin film quickly. The smell is a little sweet, a bit fruit, date or raisin like actually, and definately complex. The texture of the taste is very smooth and almost silky. This stuff was way too grassy for me, with a tiny bit of caramel, as well. It leaves a very faint chocolate like after-taste about a second or two after you take a sip. I wasn't quite as impressed as I thought I would be.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fantastic brew. Nearly perfect in every way. A creamy brown head sits atop dark brownish/amber beer. A smell of this stuff lets you know your in for a complex flavorful beer with a blend of citrusy hops and fruity malt. Taste is wildly complex and aggressive with spicy, citrusy and piney hop bitterness balanced by substantial malt with flavors of caramel and dark fruit and just a touch of cocoa and a healthy dose of alcohol esters. Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth with perfect carbonation. Drinkability I rate a little less because of alcohol content and aggressive flavor, although thats what this beer is all about.

This is a highly recommended beer that I would probably buy more if I could get it easier. Picked this one up at Kclingers in Hanover. And it is not sold in Maryland where I buy nearly all of my beers. Hopefuly I might catch this one on hand pump at kclingers someday. I think it would be terrific served that way mellowed out just a little bit.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Dr. Dremo’s. I will mainly just comment on the differences in experience from having this in the bottle. This one came a deep crimson red with a medium to small head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma of hops, mainly citrus and a nice malt sweetness to round it out, more so than I remember from the bottle. The taste seems much more smooth and less rough. The hops make them selves known but are not as sharp as the bottle. The malts blend well and made for an overall smoother taste. Full bodied and more drinkable on tap. Great all around beer and even got my girlfriend drinking it.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth. Heavy feel in the mouth. Served in a 22oz bottle. I asked for a glass but it never arrived. Nicely rounded hoppy flavor balanced with the malts and fruity undertones. The carbonation was perfect--accentated the flavor on the tongue but you never noticed the bubbling. Best served relatively cold. I noticed as I kept drinking and the beer was warming some of the taste was lost.

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Photo of BadBadger
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A very fine ale. This pours a very dark amber color. There is a wonderful brown foamy head whic lasts. The tase is indeed complex but pleasant. There is a caramel/coffee malty sweetness, nice balanced with a hoppy bitterness. Thick on the tongue. Definitely buy a bottle and check it out. You won't regret the adventure.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of shirfan
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
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".

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
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

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Photo of halfpgl
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of Hunter
3.26/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Gasp100
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,914 ratings.