Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,889 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,889
Hads: 9,863
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 380
Gots: 1,997 | 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: 2,889 | Hads: 9,863
Photo of Woody86
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Aromatic with a bitter hops finish in the end.

It had been a while since I had this beer so I figured I would pick it up and review it again. This beer is, as reputed, a very good beer. Pours nicely with a nice thick head. Very aromatic, the aromas are probably subjective to the drinker as there is not really a noticeable aroma that stands out above the rest to me and other individuals I have spoken with have their own opinions as to what truly stands out in this beer. (The same goes for the taste)

Easier drinking than they state on their label in the back; pretty hard not to like this beer unless your moving from a straight horse pess pilsner.

More hops than anticipated but I like it.

Salut (709 characters)

Photo of nextbottleplease
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Since so many people wrote how it pours, etc. I'll just say - the taste is worthy of the name. It's bold, arrogant and in a way overwhelming. Really hard to forget and I often want to go back to it. I wrote a bit more some time ago - . (270 characters)

Photo of BenwayPHD
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a dark reddish brown with a yellow tinted two finger head. The smell is a perfect balance between the hops and the sweet beady malt. Caramel, orange, vanilla, candy. The flavor is also a perfect balance. It's bitter, very bitter, but there is also a nutty sweetness. It's hard to honestly review this beer as it has been an old standard of mine. The First Craft Beer I Ever had. (386 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Funny name, serious beer. A little stronger than most ales, but worth the kick. This beer put Stone on the map, but they do so much more now. Good introduction to the brewery. (178 characters)

Photo of LiamMichaelAriel
4/5  rDev -4.3%

1st thoughts: Arrogant Bastard Ale is probably the most popular American Strong Ale in New England. The first bomber from Stone Brewing Company (Escondido, CA) to make a play on the shelves of package stores throughout the bay state.

Review: Pours medium brown/red-ish in color with a moderate to sticky head. A hoppy yet smooth with a medium finish. A blast of hops upon first contact the taste smooths out and leaves with a killer bite.

Price: $6.75 for 1pint. (Boston, Mass.)

ABV:7.2% (491 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

As I hophead, I don't venture into the American Strong category often but of course Stone makes the deviation easy. Fantastic malts with just enough hops to keep it interesting. Between the artwork, appearance, aroma and flavor, what's not to love about this beer? (266 characters)

Photo of barleybutt
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Poured aggressively in a standard pint glass.
A: amber dark red. Reminded multiple people in the room of cherry wood. A light foamy head, a few inches tall, formed but dissipated quickly after the pour.
S: More yeast than anything. Fresh biscuits on the head and light citrus undertones.
T: Strong upfront chocolate followed by dry citrus - most reminiscent of grapefruit rind.
M: Medium. Light carbonation and a dry bitter finish.
O: Very drinkable and affordable. There is little to no alcohol in the taste despite the medium/big body. The roasted chocolate upfront is usually something I don't like, but this brew did it well. I would be happy with another. (673 characters)

Photo of TimZebGir
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%

A: Deep ruby brown with light foamy head(3/3)
S: Light fruitiness...cherry?...citrusy hop notes (8/12)
T: Fruity notes on tip of tongue blend toward malty and bitter finish. Strong hang, like unripe grapefruit or strong coffee in the after-taste. I detect wood?(14/20)
F: Medium body and carbonation with very dry finish (4/5)
O: Really hard to pin down the subtle notes in this one. Drank it with a friend, and we both had a hard time finding words. (7/10)
36/50 (472 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A; Pours out a murky reddish copper. Two fingers of khaki head that wouldn't leave me alone.

S: Very bready. Subtle hint of fruit like strawberry and cherry.

T: Hoppy licorice. Strawberry and cherry from the nose mixed with an earthy, grassy hop. Delicious.

M: Medium sticky body with medium carb. Slightly tannic bite.

O: Very solid. The hoppiness is what sets this one apart. A great "go to" because of the availability in my area. (438 characters)

Photo of Webbey
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

24oz. bottle poured to glass.

Appearance: A light amber hue, very clear and has extremely nice lacing on the glass. About a 1.5 to 2 finger head (poured this one pretty sloppy so the head was nearly 3 inches at first).

Smell: Extremely grassy, full of hop notes and a slight hint of orange. After tasting, you can barely notice a hint of the malt upon a huge sniff of the beer.

Taste: A quick hit of sweetness followed by a smash in the face of hops, hops and more hops. This is essentially an IPA on steroids (categorized as Strong Ale but you get the picture). At the finish you can notice a quick hit of coffee notes and malt. The bitterness hangs around a bit after a few sips.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, not a very heavy carbonation but just enough. Bitterness all around this brew but, hey, that's the style!

Overall: This is your typical West Coast hop bomb of a brew. It is delicious but for myself, I could only take a pint of it and then I had to move on. A 3.75 rating because it hits everything it's supposed to but that West Coast purposeful hop attack really isn't my favorite thing in the world. Worth a try and a great brewery to go visit! (1,159 characters)

Photo of ArchimedesSox
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours a dark, copper color in a 20oz pub glass from a pretty aggressive pour creating a 4 inch head on top that lingers a while leaving nice lacing down the glass.

Smell is of piney hops with a little malt pressence in the background. I also get an alcohol medicinal smell in there as well.

Taste has those piney hops up front. Malts come in in the middle of the taste but not enough for my taste. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops with a resinous medicinal type of taste. It is not as unpleasant as it sounds but that is the best way I know to describe it.

Mouthfeel is medium to full. Bubbles are pretty small and creamy which has created a really dense head that is still lingering on the top as I am half way through the glass.

Overall a really good beer. This is the first Strong Ale I have had and I am not sure why this is not considered an IPA. It pretty much fits that bill in my opinion. I cant think of a time where this would serve a purpose that an IPA could not fill in. Never the less a good impression for me from Stone as this is my first offering from them, and I look forward to some of their others. (1,147 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No date visible on the bottle but the variety pack says Enjoy By Oct. 30.

A- Pours a reddish medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming an 1/8 inch head and exhibits a resilient sheet of lacing.

S- Toasty malt and some semi-strong booze fume. Also some hop aroma trailing behind.

T- It's funny. There's a lot of flavor here but, since there's equal parts bitter, sweet, alcohol and toasty, they all come together and even out in the end. I would call it balance but the taste is still quite aggressive overall. I feel like the bitterness might outweigh all else though when everything's said and done.

M- Slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This is a very multi-dimensional beer that I haven't revisited in quite some time. While nothing really jumps out at me that's special about it, I admire its decent complexity and assertive flavors, even if it is lacking a bit of character. This is a beer that was monumental in its time, was influential to a lot of people new to craft beer and I'm no exception.

A- 4.25 S- 3.75 T- 4 M- 4.25 O- 3.99 (1,155 characters)

Photo of rcairney1
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

I revisited this after a couple years. The older I get the better good beer tastes. Actually did the revisiting with my brother in law, who hadn't had it in a while either. We both found this beer outstanding, again. It is very good. I would recommend trying and re-trying. If you haven't had it in a while, do yourself a favor and get some of this arrogant bastard between your lips ASAP. (395 characters)

Photo of Sam-VW
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%

A - Copper coloured with a cream head, excellent retention and follows the beer down leaving sticky lacing.

S - very sweet malt forward - Carafa special? Some piny hops

T - First a nice sweetness from the malts, then the hops kick in with a pine bitterness. Excellent!

M - Full bodied, starts sweet but finishes dry. Good carbonation. (341 characters)

Photo of MentalMonkey
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

This is a well balanced beer with a very high hops content, a full bodied flavor, and a faint and not unpleasant after taste. If you like hops and don't care or enjoy a little bit of bitter then this is an absolute must try. (225 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Appearance: Creamy head that stuck around and rode the glass to the bottom. Dark copper color, very clear and inviting.

Nose: Malty, hop forward, caramel, slightly fruity.

Taste: Sweet up front, powerful hop pineyness, nice malt backbone, no warming alcohol despite being 7.2%. Hops lead to a dry finish.

I don't know how many times I've had this beer. It is always a great staple at my local pub and I'm glad I can get growler fills of it down the street. Stone is doing some amazing things with beer styles and capitalizing on the hop-frenzy of the West Coast. (607 characters)

Photo of T_Reeves92
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Fantastic beer.

A: Dark Deep Amber color
S: Strong, hoppy aroma
T: Hoppy/Malty Bitter and Sweet with a bready finish.
M: Medium body with mild carbonation
O: Great beer, especially those who haven't had a stone beer (218 characters)

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some sweet and citrus aromas, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and citrus flavors, that make for an interesting and complex Pale Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex Pale Ale. (587 characters)

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

12oz bottle poured into a 20oz Firestone glass.What can you say just another solid beer from stone.Great beer that is easy to find here in California.7.2 ABV will get the job done nicely.If you have not tried this give it a try.I think you will like it. (253 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%

Poured into a snifter

A: Iced tea orange. A tan one finger head that dissipates to medium sized bubbles. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Malts pop up with a charred, smokey hop background.

T: A great malt/hop kick. Caramel and chocolate collide with a slightly bitter finish. A weird metallic aftertaste ensues.

M: Medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: One of the most popular American Strong Ales on the market, and arrongantly so. (438 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass. A moderate glug glug produces a billowing 1.5 inch, chunky, pale tan head that sticks really well. The beer is a dark amber, maybe a little hazy, with moderate carbonation.

A strong aroma of pine and citrus greets the nose, with some underlying brown sugar qualities. The flavor is quite malty, but with plenty of bitterness to balance. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, molasses dark fruit and roasted nuts compete with spicy, floral, citrusy hop notes. Wonderfully balanced and complex, with a certain unique, fruity-nut flavor that reveals itself on the palate at times and is hard to pinpoint. A very creamy mouthfeel and a lingering spicy and bittersweet aftertaste invites follow-up sips. Actually quite a smooth flavor and not overbearing by any means.

An excellent, tasty, full-throated and well-balanced brew that I find rather approachable despite the klitchy marketing hyperbole. Overall, I thought the hop flavors were kept within bounds and the brew possessed a balance that perhaps was lacking one or two previous samplings. I bought the bomber for $4.79, which was marked down about a dollar, and a very good deal. (1,175 characters)

Photo of hail_seitan
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from 22 oz. bottle into tulip glass

A - A resplendent garnet body topped by a frothy two-finger head.

S - Pine resin, grapefruit, and a slight black pepper spice.

T - The hops strike first, with notes of grapefruit rind, juniper, and pine sap. The malt builds from a slight chocolate flavor to an almost oatmeal cookie like sweetness. The finish is moderately bitter with some citrus and alcohol notes.

M - Medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated.

O - A solid beer, even if it isn't my favorite offering from Stone. The balance of maltiness and old school hop resins is still rewarding, especially when consumed around a campfire on a crisp fall evening (though I enjoyed mine in the heat of summer). (720 characters)

Photo of Photobeeguy
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice brown color with a quarter inch creamy head. Malty flavor with a good hop hit, but not overly bitter. Very balanced and easy drinking. Flavors really show through as the beer warms slightly. Aroma is roasty and mildly hoppy. This is a beer that sets the standard for quality and drinkability. (306 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark red-amber with a pale head that dissipated leaving a ton of lacing.

Smell: Piney and floral hops.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness up front, yeast, followed by a sturdy roast malt backbone with a moderate bitterness on the back end. A bit of alcohol taste at the end, but not much.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness and carbonation.

Overall: Amazing beer. Tons of malt, tons of hops, tons of flavor all around! All the different aspects meld together well. (469 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a sample pack, poured into a pint glass. Enjoy by 9/5/14

Pours a deep reddish copper with a large slightly off white head. Decent carbonation, thick lacing.

Getting a very malty aroma

As the bottle states, this is an aggressive tasting beer, a bit boozy at times. Malts and hops battle it out, hops winning early on, before roasted malts pack a punch at the end. Lots of carbonation & bitterness on the tongue, and the heavily roasted malts in the back of the mouth.

Overall, it's good, but personally, I much prefer the oak aged version. (560 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,889 ratings.