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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,913 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,913
Hads: 9,982
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 397
Gots: 2,125 | 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: 2,913 | Hads: 9,982
Photo of oxmasterscream
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was my first Stone beer and I finally understand all of the comments about how extreme they are. From a 22 oz. bomber bottle, it poured a beautiful mahogany color (one of the best looking colors I've seen), very clear, with a small head that remained in some capacity throughout the drink and left nice lacing as I drank. From the fridge, the aroma was slightly sweet with a big citrus punch and the smell of new carpeting (anyone else get that - beermail me). As it warmed, more malty aromas became evident - raisins, brown sugar, fresh bread. The taste at first nearly knocked me on my ass. I wasn't ready (and mabye "not worthy" as the bottle suggests) for what I experienced. The first taste started out slightly sweet and all of a sudden, my tongue was blasted with a bitterness I've never experienced before; it stayed with me for longer than any other bitter taste in my life. Cold from the fridge, this thing is a hop monster and seemingly nearly out of balance. As it warms, it really starts to come to life though. It gets sweeter and fruitier and either the bitter hops begin to fade or you just get used to the punch they pack... I'm still not sure. Either way, this is a very complex and balanced (but to the extreme) beer. Mouthfeel is medium carbonation, medium bodied, smooth and creamy - really nice. I knocked it down a notch on drinkability because the flavors are so extreme that it can be challenging to drink and the high ABV starts warming you up pretty quickly. I drank the second part of this bomber alongside a bowl of really spicy, cajun (no tomatoes) jambalaya which contained andouille sausage, chicken, peppers and onions, drenched in hot sauce and it stood up to it and complimented it extremely well. This beer would be great alongside any big flavor foods.

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Photo of rugger
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer a-lot. I wish that I could buy it locally here in Arkansas, but hey I can't have my cake and eat it too can I?
22oz bottle that you can't bring yourself to throw away, however you can only keep so many.
Pours a beautiful amber copper color witha nice perfectly formed head with great retention and then to top it off great lacing. The smell comes in big with malty sweetness and a big citrusy hops aroma. The taste is also big with malty sweetness and citrusy hops with a hint of rasins from the special B malt that I think they probably use. The mouthfeel is pure bliss for big beer/big hops lovers. I could drink these all day, or at least until I passed out. Did I mention that I love this beer? I highly recommend it to anyone that hasn't tried it.

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Photo of Padron4KM
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.
Pours a dark muddy copper color, with a decent tan head. Spotty lacing.
Citrus and pine dominate the aroma, with some raisin hiding in the back.
Flavor starts off malty sweet with a grapefruity finish.
Alcohol is well hidden, until you finish the bottle. :-)

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

The bottle design is great. I love the copy on the back. What a great touch. It adds to the beer. Stone rocks.

This beer pours a deep mahogany color with a hearty, tan-colored head. The head tenaciously clings to every inch of the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of warm pumpernickel bread ... and a good bit of honey. A stout flavor, with strong overtones of yeast and hops. Just the right amount of smooth and creamy. A very hearty, well-made ale. I quite enjoyed it. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys darker beer.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great appearance. Pours out a ruby color with a light tan head. A slight amount of lacing left on the glass, but great head retention. The aroma was full of caramel and molasses combined with citrus hops. Reminded me mostly of grapefruit. This is a full bodied beer with a creamy/chewy texture. Lively carbonation with a light alcoholic finish. Very heavy on the palate, but it coats your mouth very well. I would definitely want to try some more of these. But be careful, this beer will leave you a little tipsy!

Overall, a superb domestic brew with a lot of complexity. A must try!
Edited on 3/20/2015. Dropped the rating from 4.82 to 4.31 after having it again recently.

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Photo of thecoldesquire
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz glass.

Appearance: Mahogany colored beer with nice amount of head. Excellent clarity.

Smell: Grapefruity hop aroma with some malt creeping through.

Taste: Wow! This is hoppy. If you love big citrusy American hops (and I do) then this is for you. Hop flavor dominates, but there is some sweet maltiness as well. This beer has an aggressively hoppy taste.

Overall impression: If you love high alcohol, heavily hopped beers, this is for you.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep opaque brown colored beer with a medium head with standard retention. Aroma is very powerful and consist mostly of what I think to be hops, a sweet and bitter type of hops though. Taste is quite unique for me (I think this is my first foray into the strong American Ale type) and consist mostly of some strong bitter hops and underline by some very subtle sweetness. Wow, this is like being hit on the head with a brick – plainly lots of malt and hops are included in here. The alcohol is a subtle but complement very well.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! Pours a beautiful dark clear amber! nice head, with some retention
Smells of malt hops and fruit,quite complex and lovely.
taste, is fairly well balanced, but a big wallop, of both hops and malt, if you want a big taste, this is it! and it has the best of both worlds(hops&malt) dueling it out!
Mouthfeel is very pleasant, well carbonated, crisp with a bit of creamyness also.
drinkability, I'm not sure?,... It IS a class act, but I don't think, I could put down too many of these, but just to sip a couple, is an experience you should not miss!!! excellent!

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Photo of doho95fu
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has forced me to begin reviewing again. Finally got my hands on a load of west coast brews and my taste buds have been resurrected. This beer is great to look at, but the real treat is the taste.

Smells hoppiers than it tastes. Hints of fruit, but that does not seem to figure prominently in the taste department either.

Thick, in a malty way, with some hops in the background. Really not your typical ale. Undertones of brown sugar and some spice. The taste stays with you for a bit - but that's a good thing. The mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth considering the ABV. Would love to get a try of this tremendoous brew on tap.
Keep it up Stone.

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Photo of MattFrenzy
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oi! This beer lives up to it's name... pouring this at a party from its massive bottle attracts a crowd. Surely enough, curious people ask to try... and the reaction is usually priceless... especially from girls sipping on malternatives. I think one of them actually gagged. Nevertheless, I had to bite my tongue from declaring "YOU'RE NOT WORTHY!!!!" And now no girls will taste anything I have in my hand, it is glorious.

If that doesn't give you an idea of this beer... I'll continue. Aggressive, wonderful, hoppy, spicy, caramel, creamy, fruity at times, alcohol comes through just a little bit. Stone Brewery is a godsend.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at my house, from the kegerator. Booyah.

Bastard pours a rich redish brown color and makes a thick offwhite head. Head retention is great and laces the glass nicely all the way down. Smell is rich and inviting. Heavily roasted and malty aromatics fill my nose. Flavor opens up bitter and spicy, and then the rich and roasted character appears again with a nice layering of hop flavor and finishes with a malty sweetness. This beer is so unique, the flavor profile is really unlike any other beer I have ever tried. Mouthfeel is medium to full and leaves a slight sticky coating on the throat, warming as it goes down. Arrogant Bastard is incredibly tasty, drinkable and in my opinion a nice session beer... cause frankly you can't drink much else after the havok this wreaks on your pallate.

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Photo of sacfly
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby red color. Made me think of blood for some reason. Wonderfully sweet, fruity smell. Sweet beginning rapidly becomes an intense (but not too intense) bitterness. Nicely balanced. This place had a great selection of beer on tap, but I every time I looked the beer list over, I found myself ordering another Bastard. Goes down very easily. Maybe due to the slightly lower ABV for a IIPA? Hope it is as good in bottles.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Innsbrook Capital Ale House.

Imagine my surpise when I checked the "Dorkmaster 9000" (i.e. my Treo300 with my beer reviews downloaded into it...I know, I need help but it's very handy when out and about and acutally quite discreet) and noticed that I'd not sampled the Bastard on-tap. Time to fix that oversight!

Still the same amber darkness with a tight tannish-colored head. Aromas are complex. Lots of hop notes with a firmly established malt base. This carries into the flavor. At first the hops lie dormant, lulling you into a false sense of security. But they quickly rise up and pounce upon your unsuspecting palate. This hop bitterness isn't going anywhere and it stays entrenched on your palate all the way through the finish. Delightful. Excellent mouthfeel and carbonation. A fixture for me from now on whenever I visit the Ale House(s).

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark red with a creamy tan head and a mild hoppy smell. A very smooth and well balanced beer though somewhat on the hoppy side - tart citrusy taste and hops you can really notice, but then again it's also got a notcieable sweet and malty flavor. This beer goes down really, really easy with a clean crisp finish. I would probably go so far as to say the Arrogant Bastard is the Great Wallenda of balanced ales (well, before his tragic end anyway.) Super refreshing, I don't think it's as strong with the hops as some people, maybe it was the tap, or the beers I had beforehand....

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Photo of dave750
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber in color with a medium height and thick head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is fruity, green grapes and dried apricots with a nice chocolate aspect thrown in.
A bold minty roasted malt initial flavor remains to the finish. Chocolate and bitter, herby hops join in at mid-taste and continue to the end.Fades as a bread-like flavor rounds out the taste. Leaves a lingering minty chocolate taste on the sides of the mouth. Thick body with excellent carbonation and a very good balance.
Very enjoyable beer overall. Heavy on the hops, with just enough malt to balance it out.

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Photo of niknar
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nirvana. Pure and simple. This wondrous beer pours out a deep, cloudy, reddish-brown with a decent head of almond color. The bottle alone is worth commenting on. Etched glass instead of the typical stick-on label. This is a collector's item bottle. The smell is strong with tons of sweet malt and maybe some honey. Quite nice. Taste is a complex mixture of overwhelming malty sweetness that is quickly extinguished by a huge bitterness. The finish is strongly bitter and fairly dry. The bitterness lasts several minutes beyond your most recent swallow... if you can wait that long that is! Mouthfeel is exactly what I like... it is something akin to eating a sandwhich. Carbonated to just the right amount...not even close to flat, but definitely not overly carbonated. This is not your average beer by a far stretch. I actually attempted to homebrew a batch of beer that tasted fairly similar to Arrogant Bastard. The difference? Stone Brewery got it right and I really screwed it up! This is one for the books... drink it alone, with friends, at a movie, in the park... you can't go wrong with this one. But a word of caution... this isn't for everyone (just like the bottle says). You really have to like high ABV, extremely bitter beers to venture into this territory!

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Photo of oggg
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is quite possibly the most gorgeous beer I've ever had from the bottle. Rich luxurious dark amber, topped by a copious solid tan, super thick and chewy head. The head is amazing. So dense. Just beautiful. The nose is full of sweet malt and vinous alcohol, with the earthy hops taking a secondary role. The taste begins with a smooth mild carbonation, then a rich malty, caramel and sugary beginning. It then shows its vinous alcohol, like whisky. The bitterness is heavy but the hop flavor is restrained to let the malt shine through. So smooth except for the whisky part. So chewy. Full bodied.

This brew is so thick and rich and chewy... I can see how it led up to the Double Bastard, which I still like better. The whisky taste is appropriate for the style I suppose, though not exactly to my taste. I had the Oaked Bastard at the Real Ale festival and didn't like it, and perhaps part of it was because it was so unexpected. Overall one of the best beers I've had from a bottle.

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

App: Very dark brown/black. Thick, creamy head.

Smell: Strong hops. Caramel malt. Smells thick. Slight coffee.

Taste: Very complex. Bitter, chewy hops assault throughout. The hops are perfectly matched with thick, dark chocolate/coffee malt. The aftertaste is powerfully bitter. Like eating extra bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This beer is so thick and chewy that it is best consumed with a fork.

Drinkability: I don't think that this beer was designed to have more than one or two.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of 22 oz brown bottle in a pint glass. Classic Stone gargoyle representation on the front of the bottle with the slogan "You're Not Worthy". Well, it's a Friday afternoon and I'm ready to dig into this beer.

I grabbed this beer out of the refridgerator and let it sit for about 15 minutes. The appearance is a full colored dark red, borderline brown. Marvelous head on top.

This is a super hopped and rich ale. One of the smoothest 7.2% ABV beers that I've tasted yet. Nicely complex with so many different flavors hitting your palate at once. I taste sweetness in the beginning and bitterness at the end.

Honestly, it's hard for me to compare this beer to anything else. It's in a category by itself. Highly recommended for those who love highly hopped beer with balls.

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Photo of chriscolby
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beer is good. Happy Arrogant beering.

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

Had this twice on both bottle and tap now.

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

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

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

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

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


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

660ml bottle, bomber

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Pine sap and rustic malt are rioting on the aroma.

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

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

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

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,913 ratings.