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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: 9,991
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,134 | 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: 9,991
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Very dark ruby/Garnett color. Clarity is very good. Two fingers of beige head show excellent retention. Lacing sticks in wispy patches.

S: Hops are forward on the nose with an overall earthy and resinous aroma. Subtle whiffs of tangerine and tropical fruits are there too if you let them come out. Big malt backbone isn't bashful either. Heavy toast, caramel, brown molasses. Perhaps slightly candied too. Suggestions of red berries. Well balanced. Over the top in general, but in a good way.

T: Big piney and resinous hop bite. Very earthy. Pine, leaves, bark. Flashes of orange and other citrus fruits. Hardcore bitterness. Malts are equally abrasive. Heavy, heavy toast. Crusty. Burnt caramel. Flashes of berries. Clamping earthy and resiny bitterness never relents and owns the finish. In fact, forget the finish, you'll still taste it when you wake up the next morning.

M: Full medium body. Very smooth and even velvety in texture. That is until the hop astringency cuts through and clings to your tooth enamel. Moderately carbonated.

O: The craft beer scene has changed so much since this beer first came onto the market, but it still feels as relevant today as it did back then. This beer helped define the new era of craft beer. To hell with all those breweries in the early going that were content to churn out some safe "fizzy yellow lager". This was brewed in direct opposition to those beers. In fact, it is so ridiculously aggressive that I still find it miraculous that it caught on at all. We all love it today because the context in which we drink beer has changed. Big, aggressive, hoppy beers are now more or less the norm. I wish I could go back in time just to watch people's faces contort as they tasted this, when the wildest beers they'd tried to that point were a pale ale and some mundane amber. We've come a long way.

As an aside it's nice to see Stone pumping the core brand again. With all the one-offs and special releases they've been doing it's easy for the consumer to overlook Arrogant Bastard. The value of this new Bastard Box bomber four pack is so ridiculous that it's a no-brainer buy for the consumer. Hopefully it brings some attention back to this great beer.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone World Bistro in Escondido, CA. Served in a stemmed glass 12/14/14.

A- Dark reddish-brown body. Copper hue. Half finger white head, good retention time, nice collaring. No lacing.

S- A blast of piney hops and sweet syrupy malt. Extremely potent stuff. Rich, intense and pine-forward with some grapefruit that is barely detectable underneath an incredibly strong malt sweetness that does not let up. Wow.

F- The malt sweetness comes out more as a mild caramel, heavy resin type of sweetness that just somehow works quite well with the amount of hops used here. On one hand, it tastes quite malty, but on the other hand, my palate is being blown up by the sheer pine bitterness of this beer. This is what I think Stone set out to accomplish and while it's not my thing, I do have to respect their intention.

M- Thick bodied, syrupy and dry. Bitter pine forward finish that makes this one a bit of a sipper. In some ways tough to drink, but in other ways, so easy to drink due to how flavourful it is. The bitterness can be well above what most people would be used to.

O- Very nice strong ale with a crap-ton of hops in it. The description and the story behind this and Double Bastard is quite novel and I have to give credit to Stone for coming up with these beers, even if they are not my favourites. Well worth trying at least once for the novelty, history and respect for Stone and what they've done for craft beer.

Final score: 4.01

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Photo of Swettenham_Shire
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Acquired as part of the 4-pack Arrogant Bastard set.

I wasn't worthy enough to drink this beer 10 years ago in college as I specifically remember the drain pour. Now I understand the words spoken on the label; Stone pretty much nailed the strong ale style here.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.93/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 10/13/14 at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of resinous hops
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – few islands of tiny to small bubbles
Body deep amber, clear
Flavor begins with hop bitterness and ends with a short hang-time bitterness; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 3, Flavor 2.75, Palate 3.25, Overall 3

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Photo of apollutedmind1990
5/5  rDev +19.9%

This beer is fantastic. Dark and flavorful, the way i like it. A tad bitter, but the bitterness accentuates the dark coffee/chocolate notes. A great beer overall.

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Photo of SeanMurray
1.25/5  rDev -70%

This has GOT to be the worst beer on Earth. WAY....WAY...WAY too much hops. It taste like you just poured a liquid lawnmower bad down your mouth. YUCK

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Photo of contraster
5/5  rDev +19.9%

this is my absolute favorite beer, prior to drinking this i was a conossour of liquor and had only drank beer as an alcohol delivery system, this beer is singlehandedly responsible for expanding my interests and turning me into the beer snob that i am, as such i have to give it a perfect rating as no beer i have ever had has topped it to this point. its taste isnt very sweet, its fairly bitter, and its a dark amber color with a small head and not too agressive carbonation. mouth feel i found was consistent and somewhat chalky, but not enough to reduce the experience, though someone i introduced to this beer said he found it was like drinking charcoal. If your into dark ales this is a must try!

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber into tulip

Appearance - Murky, murky dark brown body. 1.5 finger tan head seems to linger eternally, awesome retention and lacing

Smell - Toasted maltiness very prevelant with ample dark fruity alcohol ester goodness, piney/citrus hop resin, and subtleties of toasted spice.

Taste - Starts of with toasty, doughy, nutty malt that brings a dark fruity, semi-sweet quality with it, fruity + peppery alcohol esters and subtle spice notes (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise). Hops are definitely here with a lot of pine resin action and some moderate citrus peel mid-palate, then this brew shifts gears BIG-TIME and dries out VERY rapidly, coating the entire mouth with a strong, assertive, hop resin bitterness that lingers and actually builds well after the swallow. A touch of fruity, dry maltiness also lingers in the long finish. Very complex.

Feel - Just absolutely spot-on medium body with plenty of scrubbing carb to get the job done, making this beast feel light for its substantial body and flavor.

Overall - Stone isn't yanking your chain with the narrative found on the bottle: this sumbitch is one hell of an aggressive beer: a big flavor and sensory bomb with a truly assertive bitter bite on the finish that kicks you in the mouth. Maybe the greatest feat is how this brew still feels balanced after the flavor onslaught. I love it, but obviously this brew ain't for everyone.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color with a half inch of khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. I get biscuity malt in the aroma. The taste is plenty of biscuity malt with a touch of bitterness from piney hops. There's a copper penny malt note in the fade. The mouth is bone dry and slightly chalky.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle enjoy by 1/6/15 poured into a pint glass
A: Reddish amber color with a solid 1+ finger head that lingers quite a while
S: A nice blend of toasted malt and pine/citrus hops. More subtle earth/spice and a sweeter fruit I can't place
T: Largely matches the nose. Nice malt/hop/earth mix
M: Medium-bodied, somewhat bitter
O: Very solid beer. I often overlook it because it's such a mainstay but every time I drink it I enjoy it

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Photo of GabeBoise
2.5/5  rDev -40%

This beer showcases the ultra bitter approach to hops that was popular in the late nineties. This is the kind of beer that caused me to switch to wine and other beverages. The new school of hoppy beers showcase flavor and aroma elements to balance the bitterness. In the bastard, bitterness is forefront and dominant. A very unpleasant beer to drink.

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Photo of Double07Inc
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Appearance: Medium brown in color

Smell: The aromatics on this beer are great you can smell the hops, a slight pine, with an orange grapefruit appeal.

Taste: This medium bodied beer is great. Good hoppie bitterness and you can taste the chocolate malts and roasted flavors.

Mouth feel: it goes down smooth, if your not use to hoppie beers, keep to your fuzzy wussies beers like the bottle say, cause your not worthy.

Overall: This is my beer of choice. This is the beer that got me into craft beer and ultimately brewing. With this beer your either a fan or you don't know what real beer is.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review on 11/15/2014 from bottle enjoy by 1/11/15:
Pours a deep reddish amber color with a small amount of reddish tan head on a light pour (first half of a 22oz). The beer appears pretty clear, but color prevents much light through. Lacing is decent. Nose is grapefruit rind and light pine bittering notes. I get some fruit notes, pitted in nature, and maybe even some cranberry.

Taste is more centered on the bitter, but there is a bit of maltiness to supply some balance. The base reminds me a bit of an English bitter beer, a clean cereal like base, some copper, but with the addition of a hint if fruit (again I get cranberry or maybe white raisin). The hops are what this beer prides itself in, and they definitely pack a punch. Grapefruit and orange hints, pith-based to be sure. Even though this isn't a barrel aged version, there's is a woody to piney flavor and feel as well. The hops seem to provide more bite than the carbonation, and the beer is fairly dry, more so than you might initially think from a clear amber beer, but not enough so to make the beer too one-sided.

Had numerous times before. A very nice beer, and a classic in the craft beer world. A must try once if you haven't had it yet. I only need to grab it once in a while, that's enough for me.

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Photo of m_hall
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear, deep amber-brown with a thick, pillow-y two-finger tan head that falls slowly to a fillm, leaving copious sticky lacing.

This beer is extremely aromatic- even before actually nosing you'll pick up floral hops, bread, banana, and spicy/citric notes. Would make a wonderful air-freshener.

Flavor wise, the front end of beer has smooth, deep malt sweetness, rich, but not toasted.There is a subtle but discernible alcoholic warmth-it lets you know it's there, but it's well-harmonized with everything else that's going on. All this is offset by an ample wash of grapefruit-like hop bitterness, leading towards a dry finish. Very complex- every sip of this seems to be just a slight bit different than the last, especially as the beer warms in the glass. It's definitely an aggressive beer, as the label promises, but at the same time, very balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly oily, lingers in the mouth, almost like a good whiskey. Carbonation is fairly moderate.

Overall, this is a remarkable, fascinating beer... best way I could describe it is like a marriage of a Belgian Ale with an American IPA, and I think fans of either style could find a great deal to love here, with the rich malts skillfully set against aggressive hop bitterness. Powerful, challenging, but rewarding to those who can step up to it. We are not worthy, indeed.

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Photo of Antoine
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Definitely a beer that knocked me off my feet but still tastes really good.

Hoppiest beer out there but has a finish that doesn't make you regret getting it.

I grab a pint of Arrogant Bastard and Stone IPA pretty much every weekend.

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Photo of samtrillo
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Beautiful and rich amber mahogany with a slightly tan head.

Nose is a bit piney and grapefruity with caramel malt.

Oily and smooth mouthfeel. Very bitter at the end. Tastes of caramel malt, bitter grapefruit and blood orange. Smokiness to it with a bit of vanilla.

A lesser brewery might try to catch your attention and call this a mahogany IPA or an Amber IPA; because it is bitter and really showcases the hops and the malt. Not Stone, though.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber enjoyed in a Lagunitas mason jar glass. The label is frankly awesome, "yellow beer drinker" insulting arrogance at its finest. The beer is a murky opaque reddish brown with a comfortable two fingers of notably dark yellow-tan creamy head. Makes me think smoky bar room. Aroma is well-toasted grains, resinous peppery and citrus rind hops, a whiff of raisins, fruity pipe tobacco, aromatic alcohol. Somehow strikes dark/malty and fresh/fruity chords at the same time. The palate starts with bitter spicy hops, some grapefruit peel and flower water, and quickly transitions to nutty toasted malts surprising devoid of toffee or caramel flavors (although these are down there in the mix). A grainy bitterness like burnt Ovaltine and graham crackers coupled with hints of chocolate and walnut. Ample alcohol flavor but this is skillfully done by design. I am getting some peach and more floral notes late. Perhaps a little coffee. Could be the most adept use of fusel alcohols I've yet to sample. Producing a nice warmth about two-thirds through but no (or little) hop burn. Despite these big flavors, the brew is silky smooth yet still rather thick. Caresses the palate. The heavy malts persist all the way through into the finish, which seems astonishingly dry for such a malty brew. The hops are the coda as well as the intro. Has to be experienced to be believed and obviously I'd snag any variants that should enter this still nascent but fortunately growing craft beer market. A near religious experience, on par with Ruination or nearly so.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber from FMcD's poured into a tulip glass. No dating found.

A - Pours a dark bown with red/orange highlights. One finger head with good sticky lace retention on the slide of the glass.

S - Dark fruit, pine, plum, vanilla, grains

T - Very similar to the nose, initial malt and sweetness, but the hops take over on the finish.

M - Moderately low carbonation, very thick, somewhat sticky.

O - Had this many times, odd that I never reviewed it. Must be because it is so darn tasty. A great crossover to fall/winter beverage.

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Photo of AirBob
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Notes from 10/31/14

A- 4 fingers of yellowish white bubbly head. Ruby-brown body. Great retention and lacing. Crazy head.

S - Sweet malts. Tons of citrus (lemon) and a little pine.

T - Get a lot of citrus up front (lemon with plenty of bitterness). Nice sweet bready malt backbone. Finishes with more citrus and a lot of bitterness.

M - Full bodied. Low-medium carbonation.

O - A little too bitter for my liking but still excellent.

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

I've had this great ale many times, but never reviewed it. Today I bought the box set of four bastards, and I'm looking forward to having a couple.

It is menacing looking in the glass. Dark brown with a reasonable head. The it's pretty hoppy and almost dank.

The taste is dark and bitter, very appropriate for the style. It bites nicely and will stand up to any food. The aftertaste is very bitter. Although it is boozy, the malty taste is way low.

Overall this is a first rate ale.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass. I'm a sucker for silk screened labels!

Appearance - A beautiful ruby red color. Great clarity. Big, dense, tan head. Great lacing. A very good looking beer.

Smell - Steak on the grill.

Taste - Wow! The malt has a burnt toast/Marmite flavor to it. I also tasted Angostura Bitters. The beer has strong herbal overtones. The hops and the malt seem to be fighting for your attention.

Mouth - Oily. Moderate carbonation.

Overall - I was happily surprised to find that this beer was not just another Stone hop bomb. This beer reminds me, a little, of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA (another beer with a little too much of everything). A very enjoyable ale, just make sure you are sitting down when you take the first sip.

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Photo of LakeCreekBev
4/5  rDev -4.1%

The negatives I had with this beer were purely a matter of taste. This is a complex but balanced beer that I'm sure many people will enjoy, but just not my favorite. My taste would rate this a 3.75, but my beer reviewer self would give it a 4.25, so I split the difference at a 4.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: clear; medium brown; 1 finger light brown head that receded slowly to a thin cap; nice lacing;

S: very restrained nose; what is there is malt sweetness;

T: very smooth and well balance; malt up front; at mid-palate, a little grapefruit rind flavor and bitterness kicks in; moderate bitterness on the finish; ABV is well hidden;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; slightly dry finish;

O: really nice beer;

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Photo of dd43
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't look up the IBU number for this beer, but it is aggressively bitter. I would say bordering on too much, it's really kind of off putting when you're only midway through a glass. Letting the beer warm up helped the aroma immensely. Served at fridge temperature there really wasn't a whole lot going on. I got much more of a toffee/caramel note as the beer lingered in my glass. There's also a nice bready malt balance in the aroma and flavor as you dial into it. Looks great on the pour, maroon in color and a finger's worth of head. The bitter pine resin thing happening on the finish was the only aspect that gives me pause from recommending this to a general beer drinking audience. Its really for "big beer" fans, despite the relatively modest 7.2% abv.

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Photo of Aotidae
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Poors a dark amber, with rich red undertones. Head was a light caramel.
Smells of musky hops, slight grapefruit, and blood orange. Perhaps some mango undertones, raison, and spice.
Tastes vegetal, pine resin, some grapefruit rind, raisons, and dried dark fruits. Some caramel present, and some thing I can't quite put my finger on. It finishes with a quick sharp bitterness that fades into more of a sensation than a flavor. Overall, I would recommend this to those who like to question what they are tasting.

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