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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,901 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,901
Hads: 9,924
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 384
Gots: 2,054 | 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: 2,901 | Hads: 9,924
Photo of jtfest
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I am not worthy.

The bottle warned me that I would not like this ale. LIES! It poured a beautiful dark amber with a substantial, lasting foamy brown head. Big hop aroma with malt undertones and hints of freshly cut grass. The mouthfeel was full and creamy with a light carbonation. Sweet malt up front, hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste, this is an ale that says "you're drinking me and you're liking me or to Hell with ya'!" Not being one who wishes for Hell, I choose to enjoy this brew. (493 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy ruby-brown, almost opaque. Has a lacy tan head. the smell is big brown malt, caramel. Hints of hops and spice in equal amounts.

Wow. Big malt but a very very hoppy taste comes right after. Wouldn't have expected it to be this big from the aroma. Very full bodied malt with an extremely assertive hops profile. It would sound like this beer is just a one-dimensional big beer but it's actually very well balanced and complex. There are alot of strong flaovors in here (sweet malt, caramel, hops and spice) and they all complement each other wonderfully. On top of all that, it's just one ass-kicker of a beer, in ABV and big taste. I am always suspicious of "gimmicky" ad campaigns but Arrogant Bastard is a perfect name for this brew. Lives up to the hype. (772 characters)

Photo of palliko
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally got a gallon of this brew this week! A local pizza parlor had my favorite beer on tap, and Oh my Lord. This is so awesome. The color is a deep brown - thick creamy head that lasts - the aroma of pungent grapefruit rind comes just short of overwhelming the senses - you want hops? HOPS in three foot high letters. Alcohol fumes drift up and are overcome by the sweet malt which is in turn over come by a killer dry, bitter aftertaste, redolent of black coffee. This beer has become a local favorite. You gotta try this!! (529 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.08/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep copper body with a thin light brown head, dark and taunting. Aroma contains a truckload of bold hops, one of those beers that smell thick, probably due to abundant crystal malt? Light citrus character and a suggestion at leather. Taste is very crystal malty with a weird hop profile leading to a untypical dry finish (chalky, dusty, ashes and slightly smokey). Very bitter aftertaste. Body is typical Stone, very full, thick, almost syrupy. Not my favorite Stone, but I gotta recognize the attitude. (504 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark dirty amber color, with light tan head that clings to the glass all the way down, nice lacing. Smells of malt and hops citrus and pine. Tastes of carmel roasted malt with citrus bite of hops finishing off the brew. It is a strong wonderful tasting beer with a great hop bite. Wonderful brew always have some on hand, very enjoyable. (337 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An easy 5 for appearrance. A glowing dark red-orange with black highlights, beige big head that lasts forever and clings to the glass as you drink. Aroma is brash and bold hops with grapefruit, dark caramel, a bit of chocolate, some darker fruits, some cinnamon and nutmeg notes. First, a bready biscuit enters your mouth. Flashes of tingly fruits appear and disappear, seemingly battling the malt inside your mouth. Thick and slick feel Alcohol makes itself known in the finish, where it stands alongside the fruity bitter hops and a sugary mouthfeel.

I found traits of many styles in this brew. While looking/smelling/drinking this, I thought - this is an amber ale, no this is an IPA, no this tastes a bit like a porter, but a bit like a stout. This is great. (765 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Stone beer (IPA) was quite an experience, so I'm approaching Arrogant Bastard Ale with a great deal of anticipation and some pretty high hopes. The label attempts to frighten me off, but fails.

Dark coppery orange with a pale toffee-colored crown. The beer looks slightly menacing, if that's possible. I think I hear an intermittent growling sound, but decide that it must be my imagination. The head is not as generous as it might be (ultimately a barely-covering film), but does leave behind some nice, dense sheets of lace. If my first two are anything to go by, Stone beers are uniformly gorgeous in the glass!

The aroma is interesting. I can't say that I've smelled a beer quite like it before. It's a sort of sweet, caramel-like, roasted maltiness infused with citrus zest. If this beer smells like it tastes, I'm in for a real treat. Arrogant Bastard is not called a strong/old ale for nothing.

The flavor is strong, assertive, aggressive and in-your-face. The label does not lie. I find myself sipping this beast, not because of the alcoholic strength (a relatively tame 7.2%), but from the sheer taste bud swamping, gustatory overload. If it intensifies as it warms, my tongue may throw up the white flag.

Citrus fruity hops are on full display. However, because there's such a huge, caramel-like, toasted maltiness, they aren't as upfront as in the IPA. Malt-hop balance is achieved... a remarkable feat since each one threatens to crush its side of the overburdened scales. Wow! Boatloads of malt and hops slammed together, yet coerced into a unified whole.

Stone has impressed the hell out of me again. While I don't believe that it rises to the heights of their beloved (in my case) IPA, I can recognize Arrogant Bastard Ale as yet another superb example of this brewery's brilliance. Am I worthy? Barely. Just barely. (1,848 characters)

Photo of Jables
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahogany with a thin off white head.

The aroma is citric hops, grapefruit, and dried fruits, dates and raisins.

Taste is big with slick piney hops, citrus fruit also some sweet caramel malt.

Moutfeel is full and heavy but perfect for the style.

Despite being apparently different styles, the entire time I drank this I was comparing it to Alpha King. Three Floyds and Stone I see as two premiere microbreweries in high demand. AB and AK are the two flagship brews so I subconciously was measuring the two against each other. While I really enjoyed this and would definitely buy it again, AK is better IMO. (630 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very dark copper color with a rusty head that is frothy to the extreme. The lacing is also very thick and entrancing. It's a very nice looking beer. The smell is almost more than one can handle with an aroma that smells of fruity hops and a malty alcohol scent. The taste is like nothing else with a huge hit of hops and malty character that blows your mind. This beer only gets better as it warms. Something that every beer lover must try. Not for the faint at heart. (470 characters)

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

Pours mohogany in color with a tan head. The aroma is citrusy, grapefruity, with a nice malt backbone. The flavor has a smooth maltiness throughout, with a citric grapefruit hop flavor. It has a somewhat creamy, oily mouthfeel, and it finishes dry and bitter. It seems well balanced throughout, but with the hop bitterness overriding in the end. An enjoyable full-bodied ale. I am glad I finally got to try this. Thanks stubob for obtaining this one.

Sampled 11/27/03 (470 characters)

Photo of edchicma
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No wonder this is a top 50 brew...poured amber with a creamy head that lasted...beautiful. Smell (or should I say smells) invited you to drink...I detected sweet malt, tangy hops, fruitiness and alcohol...what a great blend. Taste was equally complex.... a surrge of mouth sweetness that changed to citrusy and hoppy on the finish,,,,a tangy bitterness remained...mmm. Surprisingly smooth in mouthfeel for such a high abv, A definite sipper that was very drinkable. A definite recommendation. (492 characters)

Photo of Beervis
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a foamy off-white head. As the beer warmed up, the flavour really came out. I have my beer fridge set too high, and this is definitely a better beer when you drink it at the proper temperature. The aftertaste has a very strong hop presence, and has almost a grapefruit bitterness.

To add to the fun of enjoying this very drinkable beer, the writing on the back of the bottle is great!

What a great beer!! (433 characters)

Photo of filabrazilia
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A cloudy dark carmel poured out of the bottle into my glass and formed a nice tan head. Excellent lacing was present throughout.

Aroma - Light malt and strong floral hops greeted the nose.

Taste - The hops absolutely dominated the flavor of this beer and had very little malt balance.

Mouthfeel - Lightly creamy in the mouth and fairly smooth. The hops obliterated the taste in the finish and left me with a slight pucker.

Drinkability - You want to keep drinking this one because anything else may seem bland after it. As I kept drinking, I suppose my taste buds got used to the flavor because it seemed to get better.

I liked this beer but not as much as the boasting on the bottle. I would definitely try this one again. (752 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated tasting this brew for the first time, but I quickly learned I had little reason to be.

My Arrogant Bastard poured thick and amber with a thin beige lace atop it, with a smooth, hoppy scent. Damn, this is good - a complex, big beer with a nice bitterness, subtle layers of smooth malt, and some light touches of dark fruits here and there.

Big, bad, bold, and brilliant. I'm hooked. (431 characters)

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

Another one of Stone's beautiful silk-screened bottles.

Pours burgundy in color. Looks like a beautiful sunset when help up to the light. Long lasting white head with a sticky lace that clings to the glass. Exceptional looking beer.

The nose was full of prunes, vanilla, alcohol, floral hops, citrus fruits and a malt undertone.

Sharp hops at first followed by flavors of prunes, apricots, caramel and light toffee. Hops are dominant but the malt presense is very high too and balances well. Hops still take over this beer and make it very bitter. Excellent mouthfeel as well.

All around an exceptional beer! (622 characters)

Photo of DagFishHead
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep dark-cherry/mahogany body. Generous, frothy, and persistant light-tan milkshake head that leaves thick foamy lace on everything it touches. Beautiful.
Smell: Floral and citrus hops, sweet caramel malt.
Taste: Oh mama, da hops! Medium-bodied sweet and toasted (even some smoke) malt to start, warm alcohol and crisp bubbling tingle at the top...then BAM!!, bitter-dry/citrus-crisp hop finish. Whew... incredible balance.
Mouthfeel: Rich chewy, creamy malt. Carbonation is perfect size and level to compliment the taste. Soothing alcohol warmth.
Drinkability: This brew lives up to the hype... thank the maker (ha ha) that this is now available in my area. Reminds me of Wailing Wench, but less rough around the edges...which is nice sometimes. (763 characters)

Photo of ColForbin
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arrogant Bastard probably has one of the coolest bottles around. It pours a deep read with a 1cm head that quickly fades to a thin coating on top of the beer. The nose is very malty/caramel, with some hints of hops. Taste contains some caramel and brown sugar, with some hops in the middle and a malty aftertaste. I remember this being more hoppy the last time I had it. What happened? This beer really reminds me of is a stronger version of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog. Maybe I'm just weird...

I have to say I prefer Stone's hoppier offerings. (544 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real hoppy,
lively. Fun before dinner as tad bitter and dry aftertaste. Citrus and
spice. Redish brown with foamy
head is interesting, need to swish in a big beer glass. Works well on tap too, had at Blue Tusk in Syracuse in late 2004 and had stouty roast in it and bitterness. (280 characters)

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

I love the cap….”You’re not worthy.”
I’d been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time. It didn’t let me down.
It’s extreme hopiness, married with liberal alcohol, a nice sweet mid-taste.
Pours dark brown with a sticky tan head. Hop aroma is evident as soon as you open the bottle.
Toasted malt character, with a malty undertone. There’s a lot going on in the beer, but you have to pay attention and work through the dominant hops….dark, ripe fruit (cherry, plum), Oktoberfest sweetness, soft toasty-doughyness, and spice.
Arrogant and amazing. I’d search this one out anywhere I can find it. (621 characters)

Photo of saskguy
3.23/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(march 2005, just wanted to say I saw bottle of this being sold at the Fogg & Suds in Kamloops for $50 each!!!! It is a bit of a gimmick by them, but they actually sell a few each month!!! They get to keep the bottlel)

I wanted to like this beer, but it did not do it for me.

The head was good and it had a rich dark colour. There was a moderate malt aroma.

Had a moderate mouth feel.

I can not quite place the malt flavour and I am not sure of the hopping. I could not tell if it wanted to be a stong ale or an IPA or a Belgium.... (544 characters)

Photo of Realale
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear rich mahogany in color. Light beige 1" head settles slowly to an incomplete rocky cap leaving nice lacing.

Nose is very well-balanced mixture of rich bready/caramelly malt and piney hops. Some earthy notes develop as it warms adding more complexity. Very nice.

Less well-balanced on the palate. The malt is there, but its fighting for its life against the hops. It holds its own into the midpalate, but then the piney, citric hops take over. The finish is very long and bitter, but its a quality, smooth bitterness.

Very good slightly creamy soft carbonation helps keep the hops in check. Surprisingly drinkable for style. (637 characters)

Photo of Weissenheimer
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My pint has a small head which leaves absolutely no lacing on the glass. The color is a dark, slightly reddish-brown. I hold it up to the light, which intensifies the redness and transforms it into a coppery amber. It smells strongly of very sweet grapefruit, even from an arm's length away. The scent carries another association for me, and eventually I drudge up the memory. I double- and triple-check. Yes, I most definitely smell those fuzzy navels of which I drank so many in college.

I take a swig and the fuzzy navel association ends. Pretty much all I'm tasting here is alcohol and grapefruit. I have lots of ideas about the other tastes, but it's almost impossible to listen to them over the shout of the grapefruit. So the following is mostly conjecture.

At first there is simply a strong acidic blast. The alcohol content is apparent at this stage. I keep wanting to say "nutty" but I believe it's just my tongue's astonished reaction as it reels from the shock of citric acid. Once it gets its bearings there is a huge grapefruit wallop followed by a tingling, acidic finish that's identical to what you'd get after taking a bite of - you guessed it - grapefruit. I think that there are some hops lurking in the background, but I'm not sure. And perhaps a little bit of... smokiness? Mesquite???

What's truly astounding here is that I like this beer. Despite my unending loathing for grapefruit, I like this. I've enjoyed drinking a few 22-ounce bottles of this and I know I'll do so again, but it's too strong for me to want to drink more than that at one sitting. Overall it's an enjoyable novelty, but in my opinion it's a bit more gimmicky than the bottle, with all its bragging, would like to admit. (1,726 characters)

Photo of BierManVA
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've been meaning to try this for some time. Must say, this is a unique taste for me. I can see this going with a nice meal. Roast or steak. But definately not a conehead bier.

Very good color and carbonation. The smell puts me off a bit, a little too fruity. Similar to a sweet wine. The taste and mouthfeel follow suit, a bit too fruity for me. Also a little rubber and Soy?

This bier gets very high marks and I will try it again at a later date in case I got a bad one. But as of now, I think it's a little overated.

John (533 characters)

4.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best "hoppy" beers on the market. Having moved from Colorado to California, I was in search of a brewery that offered great tasting, hoppy beers. Stone Brewing in San Diego offers some excellent beer, including Arrogant Bastard. As a former English teacher I appreciate the creative writing on the back of the bottle! This beer is hoppy, yet has a slightly sweet aftertaste. It definitely packs a punch. Not for the faint-hearted, for sure. I enjoy the taste so much I could drink this beer every day! I have also had it on tap at The Yardhouse, and it is even smoother and crisper than it is from the bottle. This is an excellent beer, and one of my favorites. (680 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well the waiting for me is over-pours a gorgeous amber red color with a slight head. Wonderful hop aroma-citrus,vanilla,some spiciness to it. Great flavor the hops are definately there. Nice earthy aftertaste. The hops sure do leave a lingering pucker on the back of your tongue. This sucker is very smooth for the amount of hops in it. A great beer all around-I could see some people not liking it-its a bit more imperial then your average imperial IPA-but I find it quite yummy. (480 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,901 ratings.