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: 2,128 | 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 mattcrill
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of david23
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of shapudding
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev -7%
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?

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Photo of kegerator
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
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!”

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Photo of DaveGood
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally got to try this last night at KClinger's Publik House. When I saw it on the board, I almost fell off my stool. Finally, I get to try this West Coast marvel, and on tap no less.
Appearance: AB is a really deep reddish brown color, like mahogany. There is a small off white head that disappeared on mine.
Smell: There's a lot going on here, but the predominant smell is of sweet malt. Some hops come through, but mostly sweetness.
Taste: The first sip is very intense. The heavy malt reminds one of cane sugar or carmelized sugars. Very sweet and full. After that, an angry bunch of hops assert themselves, and meld with the malt. There is quite a bit going on here, good interplay of flavors.
Mouthfeel: Not overly heavy, but rather just a good full drink. Leaves slight coating on the tounge from its higher alcohol.
Drinkability: Good. I could have another. This really is an intense beer though, so I doubt I could toss them back in succession. Nice to have had it though. I'm going back for a growler.

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Photo of govtmule
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had my first AB at Monk's in Philly. I have to say that is a good beer. It was too dark to really get a good look at the appearance, but from what I could see it was a nice cherry or mahogany wood color.
Nice frothy head.
The taste is the best part of this beer. I'm still working on how to describe beers, but all I can say is that this beer is pretty intense. Lots of flavor. I couldn't drink 'em all night, but I could drink 'em every night.

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Photo of smcolw
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cascading full head that poured three fingers thick; this is something I expect only from the nitro-can stouts. Unfiltered cloudiness with an orange hue from a bright backlight. Maroon-brown in normal light. Very impressive sticky lace on the glass sides.

Grassy dark malt aroma up front; strong molasses-like smells. Sweet like caramel candy or maple syrup.

The flavor is rich and complicated. Strong carmelized sugar flavors in the beginning of the sip. The hops crecendo slowly and powerfully. I am fascinated with the experience after the swallow: the molasses sweetness returns followed by an intense IPA-like hop bitterness. This beer has a body like light cream. The higher-than-typical carbonation provides the perfect foil to nearly overwhelming flavors.

This beer offers one of the best carnival taste rides: malty to hoppy to candy sweetness to dry hop bitterness. I'd love to know how they made this beer. It's like drinking a symphony.

PS I notice that my reviews are longer when the beers are interesting and complicated. It seems that my ratings are proportionate to the length of the review.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby to mahogany in color. Serve from a bomber at cellar temperature. Dense foamy head develops about three fingers head. Head retention is good with a head remaining for a long time. Smells hoppy. First taste reveals a strong bitter hoppy presence. Tastes like an IPA. Very in your face hop presence. Aftertaste remains for a long time. I'm searching for anything other than the strong bitter hops taste. I thought I got a little citrus undertones on the first sip but that doesn't seem present in the second. I'm probably drinking a little warmer than ideal serving temperature. I prefer something a little better balanced. A decent selection but not one I would travel miles for.

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Photo of Foxman
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dark muted amber, with an impressive three fingers of light tan head that sticks around a good long while. Fingers of lacing wind almost maniacally about the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a mad rush of dry citrus, like flowery grapefruit juice, but a companion caramel malt presence disavows one of that notion. A smooth, gentle vanilla air keeps the edges rounded.

The first sip delivers a smooth toffee malt sweetness frolicking with a dry perfumed grapefruit bitterness. The alcohol provides a soothing warming sensation as a partner. The citrus plays again in the middle, almost delivering pulp to the palate. A lightly baked biscuit presence graces the stretch run before a dry hops bitterness lingers and slowly fades. The elemental balance is, simply, a fun taste experience.

Roughly medium bodied, it coats capably and takes its time slipping away. The palate glows with a dry tingle at the finish.

While a bit less beefy than some of its brethren, it's arguably more artfully balanced. It's also simpler than some Stone offerings, but that is in no way a down note. It's malt, it's hops, and it delivers both in a smooth blend. And there is just no way that one is enough, no matter the sign on the bottle. It's likely that arrogance never tasted so good.

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Photo of ottobon100
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love "hoppy" beers and this is my number one favorite! No one even comes close. I find it hard to believe Stone Ruination and Stone IPA beat this out on BA review rankings because to me they taste a tad watery in comparison. Don't get me wrong I like those beers but no where near as well as ABA. I think the writing on the bottle says it all.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I finally had the pleasure of drinking a Stone beer. Pours a very dark amber with a tan head, suprisingly the head didn't last longer. Lacing with slither down your glass with each sip though. Smell is fruity with caramel hops. Taste is very strong but with great roasted and fruit tones. This beer explodes in the mouth, very full and lively. A very drinkable beer, if you want to impress someone with a great beer, this is the one to get.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent strong ale. First off, one of the best aspects of this beer is it's appearance. Great long lasting head, of a murky yellow white color. The beer is ruby in color, very cool to look at. Smell is very respectable and bold, malty and yeasty, with a hint of sweetness. Taste is very complex. Lightly carbonated, this beer is semi-sweet with a subtle bitter aftertaste. I discovered flavors such as the bitter of grapefruit (which I didn't really like since I don't like grapefruit) and the bite of baking chocolate. Thumbs up to this brew. Sadly though I won't be drinking much of this, since it is wildly overpriced at the only local store that sells it ($5 for a bomber). Way to go Stone!

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

Poures a deep red, with a thick creamy head, leaving lacign all the way down. Head stayed for a long time, small bubbles, just generally a gorgeous beer.

Smell comes with a heavy malt and hit of grapefruit. Slight touch of phenols detectable also.

Flavor, so rich and complex, it's taken me two bombers to even start expressing the flavors of this beer. Initially it's rich and complex maltiness. light caramels, and a mild roastiness are also detectable. As it hits back on the tongue, the hops slap you across the face. Powerful grapefruit is noticable, along with a range of hop flavors.

Rich and heavy in the mouth, with just enough carbonation to keep it interesting.

A spectacular beer.


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Photo of Beaver13
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Arrogant Bastard pours a deep copper-red with a creamy light brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

It's aroma is strong hops with some citrus notes.

The taste is not nearly as bold as I was expecting. I'm not normally a hop-head, but this is hops well done. Some sweetness and citrus up front, but the hops really dominate the flavor. The citrus, grapefruity twang really helps to balance the bitterness and keep it in line. It packs a bitter aftertaste, but not overwhelmingly so.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and pleasantly bubbly.

Overall, a very smooth drinking beer. I could easily see this as a session beer if not for the wallop of the 7.2% alcohol, which is not noticeable as you drink it.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown body with very low carbonation and a thin head that is gone is a matter of seconds. Lace is also quite minimal, and the beer has very still appearance in general. Aroma is on the sweetish side with flowery hops and malts that smell like honey. I can also detect a fair bit of grain on the nose with hints on vanilla and oak. Malt profile is very Scottish with sweet caramel, plum, cherry, vanilla, and a bit of smoked grain. Hops are quite detectable, and become more pronounced as the beer warms some. The hops add some dryness to the aftertaste due to their spicy, woody character, but they are not really bitter. As the beer gets warmer still, the malts that had been subdued by the hops make a big comeback with very fruity esters. Silky smooth mouthfeel with a nicely warming alcohol content. A sipping beer to wind down a stressful day at work, as the experience is totally relaxing and mellow.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally got one! The pour was incredible, dark copper-red with a beautiful foamy head an inch thick that fell to a creamy thin line that stuck to the sides of the glass throughout the drink. The smell was full of strong hop spice with a hint of malt and a slight floral overtone. The taste started with a great hop kick that lasted from start to finish, somewhere in the middle I gained a kick of malt. The finish bordered on oily with lingering hop overtones. All and all this was a great brew.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drew for the sample.

I tried my best to hate this beer, but all my efforts have failed. Rich with hops, obviously, but fantastically layered with fruity and sweet malts, licorice-tinted hop resin, and yeast. The balance is phenomenol for such a huge beer and this drinks remarkably smooth. Unendingly complex and, after you accept the huge hop and alcohol nose, this is suprisingly subtle.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of ark57
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a symbol for what is so good in brewing today. It is large and in your face and does not care which companies pay lots of money to promote their product. It is brown in color with ruby highlights. The aroma is full of hops and some malt. The bitterness is up front and the body is a sweet and smooth maltiness. It has a big hop finish that is herbal and minty. This beer is extreme and just wonderful.

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Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Chumley's in Lafayette. This should be what all other craft brews are measured against. Appearance is a nice ruby brown with a quickly disapating tan head. There is a strong raisin taste in this beer which yields to a strong hop profile. The smell hints at more malt than the taste would have you believe. This beer is balanced very well and the alcohol is completely hidden. This beer would never be a bad choice and will continue to be an excellent standby for me.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer obviously has a lot of character, and Stone has made a good, distinctive beer. As the label will tell you, they don't care what you think of it. But I shall review nonetheless...

It had a nice appearance, good color, but not too much of a lasting head. At least for me. The taste was strong and hoppy. The malt would break through, then recede. That was a nice touch. Very hoppy. It mellowed a bit as it got warmer (or maybe it was due to just sitting). Much too aggressive to rank it high in drinkability.

Definitely one for the hopheads.

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