Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,900 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,900
Hads: 9,917
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 382
Gots: 2,046 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,900 | Hads: 9,917
Photo of Johnnyfacelift
3.56/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice reddish color with a solid and lasting head. The head is one of those thick juicy ones that doesn't want to let go, love that! Smells of roasted malt character mostly without much if any hop aroma. The taste is solid malt and a nice balanced bitterness. A clean yet full mouthfeel rounds out a brew that is solid, but don't expect a new twist here. (362 characters)

Photo of Ty1erC
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.*

a: it's a dark, cloudy copper color with lots of head and thick lacing.

s: a great aroma of citrus and pine.

t: the slight taste of sweet malt hits the palate first, then it's a hops explosion. very intense hop flavor.

m: medium-bodied, medium carbonation.

d: very drinkable. one of my favorite beers. (350 characters)

Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard Ale

This beer poured from a 22 ounce bottle provides a clear but dark reddish amber flow. It erupts into frothy 3 to 4 finger creamy foam, and leaves long standing lacing.

The scent is heavy malts balanced by hops, uninterrupted by much else.

The taste is reflective of the scent, but reversed with heavier hops, and a mild oak undertone. This is a straight forward ale taste, unencumbered by exotic extras.

A mouthful is creamy with just the right punch of carbonation. It is substantial but still refreshing.

Overall, this is another winner by Stone, and is an excellent example of a strong American ale. (631 characters)

Photo of Whadawookie
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am glad to have been gifted this beer by a coworker on vacation. I've heard of it's virtuous nature and was stoked to crack into it after a long day. I was not let down. To me, this is like a hefty red ale that has a very complex aroma and taste. I am a couple of pours into this bomber and I have had my palette completely commandeered. Looks are not amazing, but it does have good lacing.

Looks like a dipa or a heavy red ale, which is kinda what it tastes like to me as well. I get a heavy pine and citrus feel from the nose. The actual beer is quite malty but it is so complex and balanced that I am astonished. It isn't even very heavy on the mouth-feel though after a couple pours it is starting to stick to my tongue, pleasantly I might add. There is a fair alcohol burn/hop burn in there, but nothing over the top.

My general impression of this beer is just about how well balanced it is. Good job Stone. As much as I love this beer, I'm afraid of what will become of me if it distributed here. I may just become an arrogant bastard myself... (1,055 characters)

Photo of Foddz
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange-caramel pour, slight chill haze that faded quickly. Head is plentiful and off-white, very fine and frothly like a Tripel. Foam persists nicely and leaves copious thick lacing around the glass.

S: Seriously heavy malt- Caramel, maple syrup, candied fruit, prunes, raisins. Hops quite present and provide a lighter floral/citrus edge. Really just bursting with scent.

T: Almost as flavourful as it smells - a slightly different balance. Hops more pronounced and more grassy than citrus/floral. Plenty of malt still present. Caramel, raisins, fruit. The subtle tones are trampled by the hops - but really my only knock on the taste.

M: Smooth, palpable, velvety. A nice bite from the alcohol and carbonation. Leaves the palate pleasantly sticky and eager for more.

O: Fantastic. Lives up to its name - the taste is bold, brash, matching the bombastic self-promotion adorning the bottle. Wish I'd checked the review before purchasing - I would have come home with more as this isn't available locally. (1,011 characters)

Photo of Patrick2012
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in 16 oz tulip glass

A: Super dark cherry red color, dark blonde head

S: Not too much aroma but is warm smelling

T: Dark, round, Roasty, bitter taste, a little espresso or sumthin toasty like that. Simple but very tasty.

M: Bitter definitely but is a good aftertaste.

O: Kind of a classic ale the way it smells and tastes but the appearance blew me away the most, great cherry red color. seen this one a lot and finally tried it and liked it very much (464 characters)

Photo of pcguitarwzrd
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Appears stout-black at first pour but hold it to the light to reveal a deep reddish-brown. Head is khaki and dissipates quickly.

S: Deceptively mild. Some malty and chocolate notes. Can't pick up too much of the hops.

T: Hop explosion followed by baking chocolate, espresso, prunes and an aftertaste of chocolate milk. Alcohol is never apparent except to dry the finish nicely.

M: Rich and satisfying but never syrupy.

O: Even if I hated this beer I would give it points for the monologue on the bottle. In fact this is an excellent beer that may become one of my go-to's. (582 characters)

Photo of milesfan76
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I've written a review. Now's as good a time as any to start again. This has always been one of my favorites, but for some reason I never got around to reviewing it. Had it on tap at University Pizzeria and Italian Eatery on the campus of YSU (this place is the single greatest reward to my recent return to school). In a pint glass.

A: Pours a darkish red with about a two-finger head that fades rather quickly (bottled version usually doesn't fade so fast).

S: Well balanced between the hops and the malts. Better than solid smell, but doesn't fully prepare one for the taste assault to follow.

T: According to Stone, "This is an aggressive beer." Yeah, that's a pretty good way do describe the taste. Hops are very present but not dominating, well balanced. (Of course, by balanced I mean both levels are equally overpowering, in a very good way.)

M: As close to perfect as I've ever had, especially given the strength of the taste.

D: Have to deduct half a point here for the 7.2%. On a Friday evening I might have a third. On a weekday between classes, though, two will have to do.

As I said at the beginning, this has long been a favorite of mine. It has not lost a bit of its appeal to me over the years. Gotta love Stone. (1,258 characters)

Photo of DarkBeerGuy
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was truly a magnificent beer all around. It had great fragrance with a super color. I couldn’t stop smiling for the whole three minutes it took to drink it!!

This is one beer you don’t want to serve to cold or else you will lose a large amount of flavor. (265 characters)

Photo of Epicedion
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Dark translucent brownish. Very dark amber. Small head that hung around for awhile, nice lacing. It's a very nice-looking, darker beer.

S: Very fruity hops. Rich.

T: They got this right. The hops are fruity, strong, and bitter, but not overpowering. There's an undercurrent of sweet malt, almost caramel. There's some kind of strange spice to it, almost like cloves or allspice. The flavor is very bold, rich, and yet not overbalanced in any direction. I haven't had any of Stone's other offerings, but if this beer is any indication, they're a top-notch brewery. Truly outstanding.

M: Medium, good carbonation, smooth with a bitter finish. I like it. The mouthfeel doesn't do anything crazy for me, but I like it.

D: Very drinkable, but you should keep in mind that this beer is best served by slower drinking. (868 characters)

Photo of zplug123
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Maple-brown color, good head with attractive lacing that lasts for the whole time

S: Definitely strong hops aroma, pine/spice with a hint of malt sweetness

T: The hoppiness is apparent at the beginning, with a lingering mouthfeel. Subsequent sips exhibit a malt sweetness underneath, but overall strong and hop-bitter.

M: The carbonation lets it stick to the palette for a few seconds, definitely pleasant due to appropriate carbonation level. The hop resin feeling is definitely overbearing, but otherwise smooth.

D: I have half of a 22 oz bottle while I shared the rest with my brother, a good beer to sip and talk about, but definitely not anywhere on my top list. (674 characters)

Photo of shwhat
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber.

looks incredibly appetizing. such a deep red color. The head retention is pretty decent. Decent lacing as well.

the smell is very intense. citrusy hop aromas. a little along the lines of grapefruit...but there's certainly an orangey quality to it. Sharp alcohol aroma coming through on the back end.

the taste is just as intense as the smell. sweet up front, a hop assault as soon as it hits the back of the tongue. quite bitter indeed. there's a bit of an alcohol presence, as well as a very minimal roasted malt flavor. there's a huge presence of caramel. this is one complex beer...every sip you take contains a new element of flavor.

the mouthfeel is nice and rich. a medium, almost full body. the carbonation is pretty light.

it's not an intensely boozy beer, but you can certainly tell this beer is huge. i like it a lot, but i'm used to beers that are slightly less bitter. one of the most complex beers i've had. so intense, but i think i can tame it.
edit - by the end of the bomber, the edge has worn off of the bitterness and it's a lot more enjoyable. my palate has probably just gotten a lot more used to it. (1,149 characters)

Photo of Floyd12
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug.

A- Deep copper color beer with a large sticky and frothy off white head with great retention that left lacing all down the side.

S- STRONG hop aroma with fruity and floral undertones which attempt and almost succeed in masking the high alcohol content.

T- Very ful and rich taste witha medium body. A toasted and caramel undertone with a malty sweetness that balances the alcohol bite. Al matched with the fruity hoppy taste.

M- Very smooth with mild carbonation.

D- Very drinkable if you are sophisticated enough to enjoy it. Large bottle and high alcohol conent means you can't knock back 6 or 7, but you will greatly enjoy what you do drink (686 characters)

Photo of JohnnysBarIsIt
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is definatly not a beer for everyone. It even says it on its label, Its a stron ale with lots of hops and malts a dark color with a aroma that tells you its an Arrogant Bartard. Worth a try if you are looking for something different. Has to be one of my favorite Stone Brew. (279 characters)

Photo of 360logic
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Deep amber, medium carbonation, 2 finger lightly yellow head.

S: Piney hops, sweet malts....and sweat?

T: Up-front grapefruit rind-bitterness, richly sweet malts lead into burnt sugar caramel, finishing with a strong herbal hoppiness

F: Pretty velvety feel for this amount of carbonation. Very slight oily and resin-y feel.

O: The epitome of Stone. Massive hops and deep maltiness gives you the biggest beer you can buy at a 7-11 at 3 A.M. Classic. (455 characters)

Photo of djjacobsen
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a fun one. AB introduced me to the craft beer world. I knew little about it all. The color is a gorgeous amber brown. the smell is of nothing but earthy hops and booze. The taste follows the nose...super bitter upon a canvas of earthy notes that are centered in this American Strong ale. It is a decent jump-off point and is always fun to revisit but the Arrogant Bastard is nothing more than a well-labeled, over-marketed beer beast. I guess I'm not worthy (465 characters)

Photo of LikeARollingStout
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber poured into a snifter

A - A beautiful red-brown. Darker than amber but still has that reddish hue. Not quite a fingers worth of head, which dissipated quickly.

S - Almost smells like a barley-wine. It's hoppier than it is maltier, but there's still a good biscuity presence. Hints of citrus. Also a good deal of booze smell for a 7.2% ABV.

T- Roasty maltiness composes the first phase, followed by a good deal of bitter hops to balance. Again, almost like a barley-wine, but not quite. If you took a barley-wine and mixed it with an IPA, you'd get Arrogant Bastard. It finishes noticeably sweet, with notes of caramel and toffee, taking the edge off of the booze/hoppy bitterness. There's kind of a nuttiness throughout the whole taste experience that I throughly enjoyed. This is a well balanced Strong Ale.

M - Medium bodied and perhaps just a bit too much carbonation. Wet/oily from the hops.

O - Very impressed with Stone's take on the Strong Ale. Will probably be adding this into my rotation. (1,020 characters)

Photo of LordofthePings
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very coarse both in taste and feel. Heavy blend of both hops and malt. I see this one got some strong ratings but it's not for me. Given that so many people seem to like this one, maybe I'll try it again in a year or two as my tastes continue to change and re-rate at that time. (278 characters)

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

This is my first tasting of this beer, or any Stone brew for that matter, and I thought it would be a fitting first review.

Appearance: Thick and deep amber. Somewhat small head, though it has beautiful lace and quite remarkable retention.

Smell: Hops, hops and more hops. fantastic smell, with many beautiful estery notes and a trace hint of the alcohol that lies within.

Taste: Medium bodied, with a very nice mouthfeel. The malty sweetness is quite inviting, and then overthrown by the aggressive hops. Slightly dry finish leaving hints of grains and malt sweetness, and of course the unforgettable hoppiness on the back of your tongue.

Overall: Fantastically complex brew, and quite fantastic overall. I can't imagine drinking a ton of this beer, it's certainly not a session brew. However, at the same time I don't think I could ever see myself leaving a drop in the bottom of the glass. In all an extremely hoppy brew, and yet very well balanced. (966 characters)

Photo of countrocula
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gonna make this sort and sweet. Sort of like my last experience whit the BASTID

Sniffer gets hop, decomposing leaves on the forest floor, booze, malt

Nice hop bite. Leaves with a charred sugar caramel sting.

Good carbonation for an ale of this type. Fluidity is good. Cuold be the state of my mouth but by the end of the bottle I had a pooling of Bastard essence on the back pf the palate.

Goes down easy. I'd like this with some sweet BBQ like dripping ribs. So dripping I call them REE-YIBZ. I could also kill about 4 bombers of this and pass out very happy. (565 characters)

Photo of Upgrayedd
1.56/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The label said that I probably wouldn't like this beer and it was 100% accurate. What an alpha acid bomb! I think I actually lost my taste buds for a few hours after forcing the entire 22oz helping down my throat. I could not detect any hint of malt, but that could be because it was a bit overcarbonated and of course because of the hops.

I don't mind hoppy or strong beers. However, this was way too bitter. Maybe they should have shifted that huge hop addition a bit later into the boil so as to give a bit more flavor and less bitterness.

I'm no wimp. I like spicy foods and hoppy beers, but Arrogant Bastard is definately not for me. (642 characters)

Photo of Ryanbob
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmmm. I've had this beer a few times before and I have always enjoyed it, but tonight its just not as aggressive as I remember it. Still very good, but not as insanely hoppy as I thought it was.

Appearance is a nice dark brown almost reddish color with a huge three finger head. It smells great with a strong hoppy, floral and sweet aroma. This ale is clean and fresh tasting with plenty of hops, however there is less residual bitterness than in Stone IPA. The hoppy freshness is balanced with some malty sweetness and hints of toastiness. There is some fruity (perhaps grapefruit rind?) taste mixed in there as well. While there is a significant hoppy character to this brew, it is a delicious beer I could drink often. There is no need to be intimidated by the label or the name, if you enjoy Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Liberty Ale you will probably like this one as well. Cheers! (884 characters)

Photo of delmarnate
2.44/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I waited a long time to try this beer, and it was not worth the wait. The appearance is amazing, with a deep amber burgundy color. The taste is overwhelming hop from the outset. The aftertaste is almost like sucking a grapefruit. There is no complexity. It is all hops. Not worth it, even for a hop lover. (305 characters)

Photo of vazy
3.47/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank this at Dinosaur BBQ the other day.

The appearance is a dark amber red color and is semi-clear. I pick up hops, hops and more hops! It has some malt to it, but not a lot. The taste is bitter and bright I get this buttery and biscuity flavor. Its heavy and somewhat chewy in the mouth.

This beer is full of flavor and deep. Its enjoyable and slightly refreshing. (369 characters)

Photo of jballeng
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour at Grotto Beer and Wine Bar in DeLand, Florida.

Pours a burnt amber with a moderate head and retention. Light lacing.

Aromas of piquant hops, bitter citrus, orange peel, coriander, singed toast, and dry spices.

Big hoppy bite in the front with immediate notes of toast and grapefruit rind. Finishes smooth with some residual hop dryness. Distinct blueberry and blood orange back-note. (400 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,900 ratings.