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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,915 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,915
Hads: 9,990
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,133 | 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: 2,915 | Hads: 9,990
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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Photo of moulefrite
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
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!!

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Photo of jazzmac
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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!

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Photo of rdrummer
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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."

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,915 ratings.