Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

9,286 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,286
Reviews: 2,835
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 299
Gots: 1,316 | FT: 7
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,286 | Reviews: 2,835 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-amber body with a medium, lasting, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling maltiness with a sprinkle of gooey brown sugar. There's a slight oxidized quality present, leading me to assume this bottles a bit on the older side. Dark fruits smelling of golden raisins. Pine-scented, woody hops.

Taste: Toasty, bready malts with a medium sweetness and taste of brown sugar. Slight dark fruitiness. Hoppy pine wood flavor, a bit of fresh mint. Medium hop bitterness, though it holds on through to the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A really delightful beer fresh or even with a bit of age on it.

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with medium sticky head,aroma is somewhat hoppy and maybe a little orange-like.Taste is pretty hoppy and zesty to begin with,with some nutty tones as well as caramel tones on the palate.Wow this is a complex brew,have heard alot of stuff about this one,now I know why.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't believe it took me so long to review this beer; it's been a staple in my diet for years.

Appearance: A body of reddish-amber with an off-white two finger head served in a 16 oz mug. Clarity is excellent.

Smell: Earthy, piney hops, a touch of citrus and caramel.

Taste & mouthfeel: An utterly unique and instantly recognizable combination of caramel and toasted malt flavors and intensely bitter resiny/earthy hops. Hops come out with even greater presence in the finish, drying the palate with flavors of pine and bitter lemon peel. Body is on the fuller side of medium.

Drinkability: High, though the aggressive bitterness can take its toll on the palate after a couple of pints.

Notes: I never seem to get sick of this beer; an absolute classic of American craft brewing.

Photo of biboergosum
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. I first ran into this bad boy at a gas station (!) in Sandpoint, Idaho. There it was, sitting in a standard cooler next to the gargantuan BMC offerings - the anti-marketing on the label had me at "bastard". Unfortunately, that first bottle was consumed out of a hotel room tumbler, with predictable results - under-appreciation and a fuzzy subsequent stroll by the lake front.

Anyways, now, poured into an American pint glass, this beer exhibits a clear, dark-hued red brick amber colour, with two fingers of densely foamy, rocky, and yet soapy-looking beige head, which disappears at a measured pace, eventually leaving some splendid roiling sea froth lace around the glass. This beer even looks mean.

It smells primarily of semi-sweet, bready caramel malt, biscuity toffee, molasses, besotted raisins, root beer syrup, and a bitter orange cream and pine resin hop essence lurking just under the surface. The taste is big and malty, to be sure - dark fruit-tinted caramel and toffee abound, but the oily pine and citrusy hop bitterness asserts itself well, aggressively, to teeteringly balance things out, over the lesser, but not forgotten brown sugar and earthy root notes.

The carbonation is quite moderate, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and so-so smooth - y'know, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It finishes off-dry - malty, oh yeah, but still duly assaulted by a wayward hop bitterness. The elevated alcohol is a general no-show, until you're nearing the end of the bottle, and then you start to clue in.

A wonderful, beefed-up ale, one which will put metaphoric hair where there wasn't any before, as evidenced by my girlfriend ceding me her share of the bottle, in exchange for some relatively 'tame' strong Belgian ale, after a mere few sips. And due to its all around, in-your-face nature - one serving at a time would be plenty (trying not to mouth the words as I re-read this).

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice buy for less than 5 bucks a bomber. pours opaque red/orange in color, thick looking, with a nice 2 inch tan head. smells like citrusy hops right away, bitter and bold. also a full bodied red malt characteristic. flavor is very dynamic, with an exciting hop and malt interplay going on. the hops are indeed fruity but bitter, while the malts are dark and sweeter, with notes of toffee and bread pudding. feel is properly arrogant in this beer, with lots of silky smooth body, a detectable alcohol sting, and mellow luxurious carbonation. overall this is a pretty good beer, definitely something different, but i dont think its as incredible as some people make it out to be. a complex glass of ale, but its not made by the hand of god.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

How has it taken me so long to review this bastard? It pours a translucent dark tawny brown, capped by a finger or so of ecru foam. The nose comprises a good amount of citrus, grapefruity, and piney hops backed by a strong backbone of solid caramel. The taste holds similar characteristics, though all elements are taken to a higher level: hops are large, the maltiness is large...maybe I'm not worthy after all, as I'm not sure how else to describe this flavor combination. The body is a hefty medium, with a moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a beast, yes, but not as beastly as it would have me (or you) believe.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark amber/burgandy color with a foamy, tan, two finger head. Left huge rings of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and powerful hops.

T - It tasted of grassy hop bitterness. The malt flavor is toasty and burnt. Also, a warm alcohol flavor.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Great in so many ways. The description on the bottle was hysterical. The taste is outstanding. I am very pleased with my first beer from Stone.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. A really unique beer utilizing a heavy charge of dark crystal malts and hop flavor. Highly hopped and luxuriously malty. The balance is clearly toward the bitter & hoppy side, but the malt balances perfectly! It's this razor sharp balance that allows the beer to finish clean and dry - not too flabby from alot of malt, and not too grating from back-of-the-mouth hop bitterness. Precision!

The body is a hazy orangish-copper with crimson highlights, and its full and foamy tan head holds quite well. It drops to a thin 1/4" that remains throughout the first half of the glass, and it leaves dense, clinging rings of lace.The beautiful colr and head make up for any distraction that the haziness might cause the inexperienced taster. The bouquet wafts from the glass loaded with fresh hops (somewhat earthy and leafy, but also clearly citrusy... Goldings and Cascade?) over rich caramel malt. The firm body is accentuated by an exceptionally fine carbonation and it's smooth and creamy in the mouth. The flavor is rich and fairly complex with a sweet caramel and lightly fruity malt note up-front that combines with earthy and citrusy hop flavors as it crosses the palate. It finishes with a firm, drying bitterness and residual earthy and leafy hop flavors. If there's anything that hinders it's drinkability (apart from the fact that it's a full-charged malt & hop attack!) it's the 7.2% alcohol by volume. I may not be able to drink more than two, but I want to drink more than two! Well worth seeking out!

Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweeter than the bottle, bit more deep caramel and highly toasted malt come through before the hoppiness sets in. Quite a treat but quite estery after it warms up, lovely mix of flavours. Something to start or end with but not make the night of being that it is such a strong ale.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This huge beer pours an awesome deep brownish ruby red. It forms a nice full cream colored head that holds well. The aroma is filled with an agressive hop aroma, some sweet maltiness, and a great aroma of figs or other fruits. The beer has a great fullness to it and the first sip is nice and thick almost chewy. A very upfront somewhat abrasive bitterness is complemented with the sweetness of the fruit flavors and malt. An awesome brew very well done, in fact it is a go to. This beer complements food better than most beers, the Bastard is amazing. My complements to the brewers at Stone!!!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle tells me that I'm not worthy.
Let's find out.

A: Nice deep brownish-crimson color with thick, even tan head and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Strong hoppy smell that lets you know your drinking a beer that doesn't mess around. There's also some malt and a bit of sweet fruitiness in the smell as well. Nice combination.

T: A heavy, bitter hop flavor hits you right off-the-bat, but it's not the "Eew, this beer tastes awful" kind of taste that you get with some beers. It's more of a "Yeah. This beer is hardcore!" I'd call it a "kick" but it stays throughout each and every sip and in the after-taste as well. So, by definition, it's not really a "kick" it's more like a "strangle-hold." The strong hop flavor is complimented very nicely by the same malt sweetness that you get in the smell.

M: Crisp, smooth, medium-bodied. The carbonation is just right.

D: This beer is most certainly drinkable, but only for one who appreciates good beer. I could go with this stuff all night long, but that wouldn't do the beer justice. After a couple of 22oz bottles, I would switch to some other "buzz maintainer" that I won't need to taste.

If you're used to drinking the common beers of the big 3 (Miller/Bud/Coors) don't try to broaden your experience with this stuff, because it will probably turn you off, but if you're reading this review, you'll be fine. Just below the "Arrogant Bastard Ale" on the bottle you see the quote "You're Not Worthy" and they were RIGHT. I was NOT worthy before I became a beer advocate.

Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of off-white head on a reddish brown body with good clarity and ruby colored highlights. The head reasonable retention and leaves excellent lace. An unusually nice looking beer.

S - Spicy, floral hops and a strong backbone of caramel and malt.

T - Strong, smoky hop bitterness, supported by dark caramel malt and a hint of roast barley. The hop flavor has a secondary role with spicy and floral flavors and a bit of citrus. Strong hop bitterness and dark malt characterize the finish.

M - A thick, chewy body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a pretty intense beer, but as every word on the bottle indicates, they were not trying to make a session beer. The hops are very aggressive and while the malt does its best to keep up with them, they dominate the flavor profile. Personally, I would prefer less emphasis on bitterness and more complex and subtle hop flavor, but that might also require less dark malt to let the hops shine through. Overall, this is an enjoyable and interesting beer, but there are better west coast hop-bombs out there.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cherry brown with a lingering massive head that leaves a fair amount of lace on the way down. Nose at first seemed like blueberries, but calmed down after a minute. Taste is massively complex and thorough. Sweet edge follows a burst of hop flavor with a deep almost oaky presence, which turns into what I want to say is a slight alcohol presence on the end. Not for the faint of heart, or palate. This beer is complex and lacks mercy for those who are immature in beer.

Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Brew 22 in Jonestown, PA. Served chilled in a standard pint glass.

The color is deep copper bordering on bronze w/ murky appearance and thick whipped up inch of light beige. There are rings of lace clinging after the first sip so retention and lacing are good.

The smell has mild hooppy aroma w/ light pine odor when I first checked, but it was served very cold. As the beer warms more malt w/ mild caramel and toasted notes come forward and a mild alcohol note is apparent closer to cellar temp

The feel is mildly creamy on entry w/ high bitterness and a warming feel w/ slightly high stickiness on the palate w/ a dry finish. The bitterness lasts long after the swallow

The taste of the strong ale has strong piney hop flavor w/ herbal accent and slight woody note w/ caramel taste under the highly bitter hop flavors. There is a slight creamy yeast tinge w/ mild stone fruit in the taste as it goes down. The taste is very aggressive and almost biting w/ a very grassy sharp taste that doesn't mess around. You can feel the stomach acid in action after the beer is consumed when tasted on an empty stomach.

A good west coast strong ale w/ lots of bitterness that makes it a challenge for me to have more than a couple. The acidity seems to linger, but it achieves its goal -arrogance. This beer is not for everyone, but I still find it highly drinkable

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous ruby red with tons of clarity. Huge wipped up tan going to brown head, big time lacing.

Smell: Sweet up front maltiness, raisins& other fruits, smokiness, caramel and alcohol

Taste: Huge caramel maltiness up front, dryness and hops smack all over your throat & mouth! Warming alcohol & cinamon, smokiness, and a slight pepper taste?

MF: Chewy, silky with great balance and carbonation.

Beautiful ale, but any more than two & it's time for a nap!

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Lakeview Binny's for $3.99(!). Enjoy by March 15th, 2010, so this is about a month old. Served in my Stone Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - Pours a lovely transparent dark caramel-orange color. There's a huge three fingers of tan foam that dissipates to a thick cap and leaves intricate patterns of lacework.

S - Aggressive piny and floral hops, notes of orange, with perhaps a touch of soapiness. There's a hefty malt backbone full of toffee, spicy fresh-baked bread, and brown sugar.

T - Taste is chock full of piny bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Mid-palate there is an eruption of orange milk chocolate, and brown sugar. A bit of spicy alcohol pops up as well at the back end, which is surprising for a 7.2% brew.

M - Smooth medium-full body that implies a much bigger beer. Lower end of the carbonation spectrum, with just enough zing to keep things from getting syrupy. Lots of bitterness in the finish and a lightly sticky residual feel.

D - I can down a bomber of this one, but the bitterness gets punishing and palate-destroying. This certainly is a bastard in that respect. An American classic - marrying the strong a German-influenced malt tradition with American bruising hoppiness. This should be one of the beers representing the US on the global market instead of BMC.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of drabmuh
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why I don't have a review for this posted on this website, I thought for sure that I had, oh well, maybe it got misplaced.

Poured from a bottle without a date into a becher. Beer is brown and hazy forms a thin off white head of medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is strong, lots of malts, nice hop character and a slight tinge of alcohol. Smells good.

Medium body with nice carbonation in the mouth allowing the late bitterness a decent entry onto the palate. Its not as sweet as you'd think but the mouthfeel is consistent and good. Of course, what can I say about Arrogant bastard that hasn't already been said, its a great beer from a great brewery and of course I would have it again.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark crimson coloration, thick'n'rich'n'cloudy, under a perfunctory whitish head.
Aroma: a big hit of juicy fruit, deep, dark ones, grapes and berries and cherries and more, a rich elixir..definitely got the barleywine thing going on, zesty, spicy, loaded with flavor...'bout time I taste, eh?
Big, chewy, grabbiness on the palate, full and thick, powerful, and omnipresent, digs in and in, climbs and clambers about the senses, not trying to dominate, but doing it anyway, through virtue of the fullness of flavor...zing, zing, zing, again, I sing, this is deliciousness pressed into service and doing double-time, brothers,...Lordy, it's loveliness, indeed, thick and full on the palate, wow, rich and tasty, sets the senses a'spin, leaves the soul reeling...mine is, I luxuriate in the pleasures of this brew, and they are aplenty!
I'm drooling of the day I can visit San Diego and try it fresh on-tap, maybe other versions, the Oak-Aged, as well?
As it is, this is a supreme brew, a just king, who wisely judges the imbibers from his throne...if thou art not worthy, tarry not 'round these vessels, seek a softer, sadder brew for you..let only those who can claim worthiness hoist a chalice of this finest ale!
Got to be one of America's best barleywines, bar none!!!
I could rant on some more, for the bottle is not yet finished, but let it be known, that this ale has powers over me, bewitches and bewilders, and all in the best sense, for I leave the normal earthly realm to visit sublimer planes, all courtesy of this bottle!
Good Lordy-Lou!
I am sent, in the most sensational way, lifted, aloft, delivered, dropped beyond the heavens into a metaphysical stratosphere beyond human reckoning...
Yes, I proclaim it "good"....and will merely melt and luxuriate at the rest of the consumption of this rare delicacy...I envy you Cali types who can snort this back with the ease of an ordinary day....

Photo of mactrail
2.73/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hops wrestle with the sweet malt for a long, long time. Eventually the malt gives up. Oddly light bodied. Oily pine on the lips followed by grapefruit pith. Carbonation lasts well if your tongue can take the workout. Pleasing head on the amber brew with nice lacing.

From the cask at The Linkery in San Diego. I thought it might be interesting to try the cask version, but I wish I hadn't. The unfortunate part is the warm cellar temp accentuates the astounding excess of bitter hops and makes the whole concoction harsh and and brutal.

Photo of Rifugium
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle as a gift

Really hard to get all the way through when I first tried this hefty beer years ago. But it gets easier once you know what to expect. Its greatness can't be denied. Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small off-white head that retains well and generally leaves a bit of clingy lace. Lots of strong hops in the aroma, rough around the edges, with notes of toasted grains and malts, and hints of dark fruits. Taste is complex; strong with pine hops, woody, bitter, biting, with toasted caramel malts, and notes of resin, raisins, tobacco, molasses, and coffee. Alcohol presence is noticeable. Medium bodied but full of flavor, can be a bit harsh to drink for beginners, but is a wondrous quaff for the experienced palate.

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,286 ratings.