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: 2,130 | 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 RedDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tall head, malty aroma, clear ruby brown color. All praise attributed to this popular California ale is well deserved. It is creamy smooth, delicious, has a biting bitter edge and clean finish. A hearty ale with robust properties all around. The body teams with malt while the bitterness is pronounced yet not overdone. All is well proportioned and balanced and the mouthfeel is sublime. This is a champion among beers. And I love all that "You're not Worthy" stuff. More power to 'em.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold, the hops overwhelm all else with a blast of grapefruit rind. Let the Bastard warm up though, and he becomes quite the charming gentleman.

This is a perfectly lovely beer, starting with the beautiful white froth on cola-colored beer with a red-copper glint on the bottom. It's very fragrant, sweet raisin and sharp hops rising to each breath.

When I drink, I find a big alcohol warmth and tiny bubbles. The hops provide a piercing, pure bitterness like a spike on which rests caramel, raisins, very ripe pears, and a wedge of cheese.

It reminds me of Old Peculiar, only more drinkable.

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Photo of Stimack
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, finally got my hands on one of these brews. As it seems to be one of the most discussed brews on BA, I was very excited to give it a try.

The brew came in a 22 oz brown bomber, which has a nice different look to it. You have to read the back of the brew, very funny! The brew pours to a deep red color with a nice inch high head that will not break down! The brew has left nice heavy off white lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aromas of this brew are heavy on the hops that give a floral smell, also can notice hints of a fruit essence. Hard to pick out the malt as it seems to be over powered by the hops.

The taste is quite complex, even though it seems to be quite smooth. Can sense some caramel and roasted flavor up front that go nice with the brew. Has a bit of an alcohol taste to it, but not overly strong. The brew finishes with a very noticeable hop punch that smooth out to a somewhat sweet taste? Over all a nice brew, not one of my favorite styles, but I can see why it has the (much deserved) hype.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Before I start...thanks to JTFest for hooking me up with this among many other Stone releases.

okay...22 oz bomber. Pours a deep red, crystal clear. With a two finger head, the head stays for quite some time and gives way to a nice, sticky, off-white lace. This certainly does look like it deserves the reputation this beer has garnered.

Smell: not to thrilled with the smell actually. Nothing too special, some malt, fruitiness, and a little bit of alcohol.

Taste: Nice, very malty, a little hoppy and very smooth. There is a slight hint of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: This is one of the best that I have experianced of the style, it's smooth but not so smooth it feels like oil. This definitely has some bite, but nothing too overpowering.

Drinkability: This is by no means a session beer, with a 7.2% abv, it's not the kind of thing you can drink in bulk, but I'm sure glad that this is one I got to try.

Notes: Still not sure if I'm worthy, but at least bottles can't be the judge.

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

on tap, fresh and tasty! pours a regal dark auburn, tiny bubbles lifting a moderate head and leaving some killer lace. This brew oozes HOPS, citrus, grapefruit, resins. Oaty/bready malt balance. This is a tasty strong brew to be cherished and sought out, again and again...enjoy the Arrogance!

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

Regal bronze in color with a perfect frothy head....nose is a bit subdued...malty...caramel and toffee....earthy hops...english style old ale nose....very nice...body is full....creamy....finishes with a nice hit of hops....nice bitterness on the long finish..the taste begins sweet with the caramel and toffee big up front...almost candy sugar like ,but the impressive hop bite on the finish really balances this out...

This is an outstanding old ale...balanced..full of flavor....looks the part too...and just think, I've got the Double Bastard still to try...

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Photo of BitteBier
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4 My beermate and I raved about this one from start to finish. Some beers are interesting in a novel way; others are simply good and balanced. This one is both and then some. Pours a unique ruby-brown color with a respectable amount of head and some active carbonation. From the moment the beer hits the glass, the smell bloodies your nose with a barrage of grapefruit. As the beer warms and the citrus hops scatter a bit, some pleasant malts are detectable as well. The grapefruit notes carry over to the taste, but the flavors evolve nicely over time. By the time I was done, the hops were fading to a dry Scotch-like malty flavor. In between is something of a caramely balance of flavors. Resins cling a lot at first though not unpleasantly. As the taste gives way to malts, the mouthfeel likewise gives way to a richer, softer texture. Despite its intensity, this one is very drinkable. This will be one to savor in the future, as well as to expose my yellow beer-drinking friends to what an assertive, creative brewer can do.

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Photo of silenius
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to go all the way to Ohio (from Chicago) to get one of these since Stone brews are not available in Chicago at this time.

Served from a 22oz. bomber at fridge temp. I popped the top and I could smell the hops immediately. It pours a dark reddish brown that looks just like Lipton tea that has been steeping for a good long time. The head was about 1cm thick and quickly gave way. It laced my glass nicely.

It smells like that Fruit Stripe gum along with some malty sweetness. That is all I got off of it.

It has a wonderful dry sweet taste (not cloying in the slightest) that makes my mouth water. The hops lived on my tongue and invaded my teeth for an eternity.

The beer feels light in my mouth and undistinguished, but the taste is anything but light.

By the end of the bomber, the bitterness overwhelmed my palate and muscled out any nuance in the beer, therefore the 3.5 rating for drinkability. I wanted the sweetness to last and not be overwhelmed by the bitter.

Do I think Stone products are over-hyped? Yes, a bit. Will I have another Arrogant Bastard? Certainly.

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Photo of travolta
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this AB from a regular glass. It was easy to pour and smelled wonderful coming out.
Color: Rusted Amber. The Tan head was minimal and did not last long(not for five bucks anyway).
Nose: Hoppy, fruity, crisp.
Taste: Initial hoppiness, fruity, syrupy after taste. The first sip begs you to take the next. It is very easy to drink. The after taste "feels" foamy... Is that a description, "foamy"?
I love the stuff, I try not to make a night of it though.

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Photo of emericanchaos
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i drank this out of the bottle because i didn't have a glass.

smells of hops and deep roast. slight alchohol aroma. very strong scent for sure.

taste is strong of hops. this beer has alot of flavors going on aside from the hops. some deeper tones i attribute to roasted malts of some sort. hops characted remains throughout though.

feels very strong in your mouth. almost to the point where it's hard to hold onto. i guess this is part of the "strong ale" character.

extremely drinkable. only faulted because it is hard to drink it for an entire night. very heavy feel once it hits your stomach.

all in all this is a great beer. very complex. i love the heavy hops and eventhough i have trouble recognizing the other flavors i do enjoy them.

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

Graceful amber pour with excellent lacing that lasted throughout the drink. Step lightly ye filthy bilge rats! Tis nay a beer to be scoffing. Thick nose with a bit of alcohol aroma but not enough to turn one away. Sticky maltiness with great hops that should set ones tongue afire with a taste like none other. The bottles right, I'm not worthy!

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Photo of twilight
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Who says you can't buy hoppiness?

Shall I compare this beer to a summer's day? I usually don't like people who are bastards, or arrogant, but this one has deserves the moniker. Beautiful red pour with a thick, enticing creamy head, that retains very well. Lacing is amazing, beautiful. Smell is of slight alcohol with a wafting of hops to warn you that this beer is not to be messed with. My nonick pint is still trembling from the pour. Taste- Taste is- thick, not quite chewy malt goodness overtaken by serious hoppyness, with alcohol mixing in with the hops before giving way to a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. This begs to be sipped again. Not too quickly, though, as seven percent is more than most mere mortals can manage. Slight carbonation, not overpowering at all- heck, it's there, but with beer this good, you're going to be concerned with other hoppening matters. A good introduction to the hoppy and malty potential of beer. Let the masses drink their tasteless macro yellow junk. They're not worthy. I raise my pint of the Bastard to them. Bwahaha!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HAd this brew at Kclingers today with some PA BAs.
The brew came to me in a pint glass with about 1 cm of soft beige colored head. The head retention was incredible as there was always some throughout my sampling.
The color is rich dark ruby and amber. Aroma is mostly pine hops and some earth scents as well. Surprisingly mild aroma overall.
The brew has very soft mild carbonation like a cask ale should and the body is fairly thick but not quite chewy, but slightly creamy.
Flavor, oh yea this is good. I get a hit of sweet caramel up front but this is quickly overshadowed by a wave of piney hops through the middle and the finish is dominated by these same hope. Some grapefruity flavors come through as well. This is a very crisp brew. There is a hint of alcohol on the finish as well which adds to the bitterness and definately increases the warming factor.
Cant believe this was on cask!

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Photo of jtfest
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of palliko
5/5  rDev +19.9%
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!!

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.08/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

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Photo of mntlover
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Jables
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of stewart124
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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

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Photo of edchicma
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Beervis
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
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!!

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