Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,889 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,889
Hads: 9,862
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,990 | 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: 9,862
Photo of HogHill
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep darkcopper with ruby highlights, the small tan head quickly faded to lace.

Smell: a lively west coast hop aroma backed with some sweet malt.

Taste: A caramelized malt flavor is primary here, with a big hoppy bitterness on the finish. I would gues this has over 50 IBUs. I think this could be characterized as a double IPA without too many complaints.

Mouthfeel: Kind of juicy and cloying, but the carbonation does a good job of wiping that out.

Drinkability: At 7.2 % it can be challenging to drain a 22. But it is very enjoyable beer to drink all the way to the bottom of the bomber.

Overall: Like an American equivalent to the Belgian Dubbel with high alpha acid hops. (704 characters)

Photo of LiquidBreadMan
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arrogant Bastard Ale is like a roller coaster ride. It pours a rich dark amber/copper with a one-finger (short lived) head. It's absolutely beautiful in a pint glass. It's aroma is a little on the light side, with an indistinguishable fruitiness. A sip yields a sharp hoppy bite right off the bat, yielding to double-strong coffee and banana, with an extremely dry finish. A good beer. (385 characters)

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

Appearance: rich mahogany body, deep ruby highlights, thin off-white head

Smell: sweet caramel malts, nutty, piney hops; sweet, but nice bitter hop balance; raisiny notes with a rum like alcohol character

Taste: sweet and slightly biscuity malt profile, some lemony and grapefruit hops, raisiny sweetness

Mouthfeel: full body, little carbonation

Drinkability: smooth and easily drinkable (399 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a bastard! It is also incredibly tasty and complex, and quite a bit more drinkable than I expected.

It poured a very dark amber with a two-finger head. It looked so pretty, I almost didn't want to ruin it by drinking it.

The smell was just as robust as the taste. Overwhelmingly malty, but not as hoppy as I expected after reading these reviews.

The taste was like an explosion. I first felt the power of the alcohol and the malt. After letting it sit in my mouth, the hops started to take over, that left a residue in my throat for a few minutes. A very complex beer, but very tasty.

Much more drinkable than one would think for a beer that has a warning that it is not for the faint of heart. I could definitely throw back of a couple of these, enjoying them all the way down. (805 characters)

Photo of amicar
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I scored this one on a trip to Arizona. No Stone products in MO...

Pours from a nice bomber with into a chalice- That color is truly beautiful; brownish, reddish, almost tawny port like, with an off- white head. The smell has a coarse citrus background with clear bready/ malty/ grainy smells in there as well... nice. Taste is good; has a nice roast/ toast malt background, with a firm bitterness back there to smack you around; A little harsh, but I'm not sure if that's the hops or the alcohol. Feels smooth in the mouth, and tingles going down almost to the point of a burn that sticks around a bit. Nice complex aftertaste. It would be real easy to pop more than one of these guys open. Not sure it's an everyday beer for me, but damn tasty.

Overall, very interesting and complex. Definitely aggressive and a little unrefined, though. Lacks the smoothness of some other of my favorite ales, but I think that's part of the draw here. On the 'must try' list. (967 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

05/10/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber poured into my Stone IPA tulip. No dates seen on the bottle.

Appearance- Opened to be greeted by a volcanic erruption of beer all over my counter, sink and floor. Damn glad I didn't open in over the carpet. Probably lost a good 4oz or so of quality brew :( Pours a very red-copper color with a large bubbled head which disapates fairly quick. About average lacing.

Smell- Very hoppy with a dark caramel malt scent as well.

Taste- Gee, what a suprise....hops, in a Stone brew? I never expected that! This one is both hoppy and malty at the same time. Like drinking a barleywine with lots of hops, then tasting a sweet caramel on the finish. Very woody flavored hops. A bit of citrus, but mainly pine.

Mouthfeel- More carbonation than expected. Took a while to finish the whole thing. Fairly heavy mouthfeel as well. Very mouthcoating.

Drinkability- Was excited to try this brew for the first time and it held up pretty much to my expectation. I was expecting a bit more of a "spiritual awakening" from it, but, nonetheless, it still is an excellent brew that I'm sure I will be having again in the future. Pretty yummy concoction. (1,232 characters)

Photo of studentofbeer
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice mahogany red/brown with a tan cap. looks nice and imposing in my imperial pint glass. the head sticks around forever and nice lacing flows down the glass.

tasty smell of vanilla, nutmeg, citric and overripe, dark fruit. very pleasant and inviting but not as aggressive as i was expecting.

the taste kicks it up a notch with sweet caramel and bread with a slight roast characterstic, plus a powerful hop bite of brite citrus grapefruit and lemon. strong on the hops but not out of control. bitter and flavorful, and possibly over the top but the flavors fit together well.

strong but drinkable if you can take the bitter hops. (648 characters)

Photo of bceaglejoe
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: This beer poured a very dark amber color into a traditional pint glass. There was about a finger-thick head that had reasonably good retention. It looked moderately carbonated. A floral hop aroma was the most prevalent scent on the nose. It wasn't overpowering, however. There were slight hints of malts in the nose as well.

Tasting: As expected, the hops were very strong on the tongue. The bitterness was not unpleasant, however, because the taste was balanced with some malt sweetness. Ester characteristics came across. This was a medium to heavy-bodied beer with slight tinges of alcohol on the tongue. This is a little harder to drink in succession due to the higher alcohol content.

Overall, this was an enjoyable beer, and I would pair it with heartier foods. It's a bold beer that will challenge your taste buds if you aren't really used to over-the-top hoppy beers. (895 characters)

Photo of Goldorak
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark red with hints of brown, with a crown of mocha colored lace that puffed back up to a solid head after only a swirl.

Smell: For a relatively old sample (bought ~10 months ago), the smell was quite fresh. Sugary and resinous hop aromas made me think of a cross between a Barleywine and a Scotch ale.

Taste: It came down like an easy drinking Barleywine, too, having the complexities I like, but with restrained cloyness and not too boozy, which gives this Beer extra drinkability points from me. It's malty, chewy and has a light, almost crack caramel flavor. The aftertaste is an interesting amalgam of sensations on my tongue; it's candi sweet on the tip, the bitterness bites you on the sides and on the gums, and the back is bone dry. Nothing takes command, nothing overpowers, no nerve endings get scrambled. I've scarcely encountered an american Beer over 7% with this much balance. I'd call it a "complete" Beer. (940 characters)

Photo of guinness9880
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pours a a dark ruby red with a 1 finger off white head, lacing clings to my arrogant bastard glass rather nicely.

Smell-a complex layering of malt, hops, fruit and caramel.

Taste-A big bold beer containing citrus and hoppy overtones along with a milder taste of carmel and coffee hinting the balance of hops and malt. This beer is named arrogant bastard of good reason, it is arrogant because it believes it can get away with all the tastes it wants and is a bastard because it smacks you in the mouth with those flavors.

Drinkability-Not necessarily a session beer but still a great beer (608 characters)

Photo of sinistermadman
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What is to say that hasn't already been said?
This is one of my favorites. This smell hints at the brew's complex taste. Citrus, toasted grains, and hops are most present.
The taste is huge. Quite robust with a medium body. Finishes quite smooth for a strong beer. The flavor is complex, but not too overbearing. An aptly titled beverage. This is an arrogant bastard. (369 characters)

Photo of froggyfrog
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark caramel color with big off-white/tan soapy frothy head foam.

Smells of moss with woody-caramel malt tones.

Tastes mildly spicy with a high hop bitterness.

Mad hop content beautifully balances the intial sweet malt nose.

Medium-weight feel in the mouth with plenty of hop oil in attendance.

Gargoyles abound in this brew. "Yellow fizzy beer drinkers" beware indeed. (392 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany color, with ruby reflexes. Quite scarce foam, and not persistent. Beautiful color, but the foam...
Good smell, a full malt, with a good hop note, quite delicate, but at the same time resolute. Ripe fruit, plums, fruit in alcohol (and therefore, some alcohol), raisin, sweet liquorice, rhubarb. Woody notes, and the cocoa, and vanilla notes. Very complex, with a fickle and variegated smell, very inviting.
At the taste, a shot of hop, more resolute than in the nose. Very malty, with woody notes, cocoa, liquorice, rhubarb. Good! Smooth. Fruity again (plum), and vanilla.
In the aftertaste the bitternes that comes back, remains clinged to the throat, and it never goes away. Liquorice, roots. And again bitter cocoa. Very long, and complex.
Medium body.

Overall: arrogant & bastard & good! (812 characters)

Photo of Higravity
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not overly impressed with this beer. It has had such a large hype, but it falls short. Sure it is hoppy with lots of course rough hops that give way to a little fruityness and while I like the hop combo the much bragged about malt complexity it two dimensional, sweet caramel meets grain. The alcohol gives it a good body and rounds out the flavor of the malt but sip after sip the malt complexity is just not there and since they brag about it, points are shaven off the taste. I will have to try this again in the bottle as the keg may have diminished the taste to be fair. Still a nice beer and I could put a 22oz in my session any day. (639 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this one in awhile and damn if it still kicks the tastebuds in the grill. Big, dark and very hoppy, this beer comes on strong but the real pleasure is the balance that exists in the main body. More than just a marketing ploy , AB is one bad mutha; shut your mouth. (278 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks to be the 558th review of AB here on BA, what more could be said ?
Has a rusty color with a thin tan head. Nice toffee sweet and grapefruit hop smell. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated.
Nice caramel malt flavor with a strong grapefruit hop bitterness to finish.
This beer will keep your house mates from ever raiding your cellar stash again ! (360 characters)

Photo of sabrills70
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with a 1 finger beige head that hung out for a while and has fantastic lace. Aroma of a slightly roasted sweeter malt with some fruit overtones followed by a slight hop spicyness. taste of a wonerfull roated sweet malt followed by all the fruits (cherries, raisins, plums) leaves a nice hop bitternesss in the mouth which balances out the high maltiness of it. A bit warming and alcoholic but the complex flavors help to hide it nicely. Medium carbonation, thick, and robust. Complex. A wonderful example of the style. Pick some up if you get the chance (575 characters)

Photo of moocey
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, I finally got my hands on a bottle of the ever-popular Arrogant Bastard, and I am indeed worthy.

Appearance is a deep, clear, ruby red.

Smell - fruity malt with a bit of piney chinook hop aroma

Taste - Is that pineapple? cherry?

It's like the fruit bowl decided to have a party in my mouth, but then the hops show up and say: "Okay, everybody go home!"

There's a lot of sweet malty flavor up front with notes of five or six different fruits that I'm probably imagining most of. Tastes great.

It's balanced out really well by the perfect level of hop bitterness in the finish. I read a lot about how this beer is nothing but hops, and I disagree.

Worth all the immense hype it gets? Nah. But it's a damn tasty beer. (744 characters)

Photo of Morningstar
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really love this beer. The first time I tasted it, I knew I would enjoy this ale for many years to come. I really like crisp taste it has. Definitely a beer to enjoy after a long day. It goes well with chicken and buffalo wings. It's well worth the search for a store that carries it. (286 characters)

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

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
7.2% Alc. Vol.

Appearance – mahogany body; rocky head and a wall of lace; carbonation rises in the body for a long while

Smell – sharp hops and mellow malts; spice

Taste – skyscraper of taste; nice hop malt battle; dark chocolate; caramel; spice; orange rind; some alcohol; hop smacks at the end with a reasonable dose of coffee

Mouthfeel – medium/almost full; some bite on the tongue from bitterness

Drinkability – a bit warming; not crushing on bitterness but the bitterness is well-understood between sips

The boulder-sized Stone is rolling down the hill in your direction and there's really nowhere to go. Arrogant Bastard will hit you straight in the tongue. (703 characters)

Photo of BuckSpin
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Perhaps the prettiest beer I have seen - just a stunning deep cherry amber in color with a magnificent 2" head of tight cream foam that clung like rings on a tree. Nose was of course hoppy with a sweet lightness to it - unusual for such a great visual. Hops right up front on the tongue, then flavors like bread and some sweetness. The term "sweet bitter" came to mind. The only drawback is a noticable chalky aftertaste I could really do without. A very enjoyable drink. (471 characters)

Photo of granger10
2.38/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My first Stone disappointment. This beer did not live up to its hype imo. Pours a ruby red color with darker auburn shades on the side. Sporadic light tan head holds for awhile. Decent lacing along the sides. Aroma is very bitter and sharp. Quite acidic as well. There's some alcohol notes in there too, which I liked. The flavors in this beer simply did not work together. A very sweet caramel/butterscotch taste comes at first but then is soon drowned out by an intensely bitter, slightly piney hoppiness. The hoppiness holds and brings some alcohol fusels in with it and then on the finish the malt comes back with a sickening cloying syrup texture. The finish is horrible. I feel like I need to wash my mouth out with water. This beer is on the thin side and the body can't hold the flavors together. It seems like Stone just threw a bunch of random ingredients into the kettle and this was the horrible result. They have so many good beers, I don't know what happened here. (978 characters)

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

22 oz. silk screened bottle. Great verbage on the back.

Pours amber with a thin tannish head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing on the glass.

Smells like ALCHOHOL, cinnamon, brown sugar.

The gargoyle on the bottle is very fitting. This beer really punches you in the face and demands your attention. Very balanced, though. I taste the hops along with sweet caramel, brown sugar.

For me, this is very drinkable and could take me through a session although I don't think I'd be able to stand up or see straight after only a few.

This is a beer lover's beer and like the bottle says, not for the faint of heart. (629 characters)

Photo of Vipsanius
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is mohogany colored with a 1 inch tan head that has pretty good retention. It ended up leaving a foam pattern that looked like the shape of Australia on one side and a gouhlish looking lace that looked like it was trying to spell out something...noch?...on the otherside. Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

The smell is very aromatic...hoppy, sweet, piney, and some licorice. The taste is very complex...bitter sweet, caramel, earthy and floral hops, a touch fruity, with a piney and bitter aftertaste.

This beer just kicks your palate's ass; puts it on one freakish rollercoaster that doesn't end till you surrender and quit drinking. The drinkability of this beer depends on how much your palate can take. This is definitely not a beer for a novice drinker. (788 characters)

Photo of cncbofh
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer hates you.... and that's why you keep going back to it.
It's like an abusive spouse. Harsh and coarse and very alcoholic.

The smell hits you right in the nose. Strong aromatics - hops, esters, permanent markers and lots of nose stinging alcohol.
The hops are earthy and piney - similar to sticking a pine branch and needles up your muzzle.

The taste is a punch in the mouth. There are oodles of malts and a slew of hops. Trying to balance these monsters must be a tough job but those arrogant pricks did it! Sweet, sticky and downright bitter as hell.

I highly recommend chilling this one, for two reasons: When it gets warm the beer becomes a rabid wolf and will eat you whole and secondly, you want something to ice your face down with after you've been severely beaten by the bastard.

Vive La Stone! (827 characters)

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