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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,913 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,913
Hads: 9,983
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 397
Gots: 2,126 | 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: 2,913 | Hads: 9,983
Photo of djjacobsen
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
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

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Photo of LikeARollingStout
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of LordofthePings
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of faubs
2.3/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I apologize for all you hop hounds out there that cant get enough crammed into a pint glass but the choice of hops is what did this one in. As stated above the nose, appearance and gravity of this one were all good. But the hops. It wasn't that there was too much alpha acid, that I can handle. It was the aftertaste. Too rancid ,very piney. I might have had a bad batch but until i get the chance again my grade will remain low.

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Photo of Enygma
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of countrocula
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of Upgrayedd
1.56/5  rDev -62.6%
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.

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Photo of Ryanbob
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

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Photo of delmarnate
2.44/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

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Photo of vazy
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of jballeng
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of CLBizzle
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a square mug.

Thick, toffee colored head with a little lacing. Nice dark color with bold smell, taste starts as a slight bitter coffee taste that turns an almost sweet finish. After the beer breathes for awhile other spices start to develop. A complex beer that is up at the top of my list for sure.

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Photo of Fatheranderson
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I just drank a 1 liter of this with a big juicy Tbone steak, and all I can say is wow, what a perfect match.

Appearance: Thick, dark, reminds me of a very good Porter.

Smell: Bitter hops, slightly burnt smelling which was absolutely the only complaint I had about this brew.

Taste: Arrogant, powerful, aggressive. Mildly sweet, but very bitter. It reminds me of a very good strong black coffee with about 3 teaspoons of sugar... add some 90% cocoa dark chocolate and you've got a decent approximation of the flavor (though that really doesn't describe the whole flavor... you've really got to try it to catch all of what I mean).

Mouthfeel: thick, hearty, slightly sticky. Very smooth overall with just enough carbonation to enhance the flavor without damaging it.

Drinkability: Wow... this is a hard one. It's definitely not an accessible beer (people that aren't used to IPAs or generally good beers need to avoid this one like the clap). That said, this beer deserves to be a fixture in the beer cooler/cellar of all true IPA lovers. This also isn't something you can just shotgun in 30 seconds and be done with it. The complicated flavor really demands that you slow down and appreciate every sip while you savor every new aspect of it.

Overall: This beer is just too complicated for anyone that isn't used to good beer. If you want a simple, easily drinkable beer, this isn't the brew for you, but if you want something to savor that will really make you pause and consider it's characteristics, this is definitely something to look into. I'd say it's a sterling example of the IPA style.

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Photo of diomz88
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S-smells great! full of hops but at the same time fruity.
A-amber, hazy with one finger of whittish head that recedes quickly.
T-Boom! its bitter, very bitter, but in a great way! Spicy and sweet, like there's caramel in it. This will be a great beer to pair with so many foods.
M-medium bodied, hop will hit you right away but goes away smoothly. Can't even stop drinking once I took my first sip.
D-so drinkable, and will drink again.

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Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass.

A: dark, hazy. appears brown. ruby tint shines through when held up to the light. got a little carried away with the pour. three fingers of frothy, off-white head. substantial lacing.

S: piney stone hop profile. caramel notes. burnt toast or biscuit. sugar or molasses. maybe something citrusy buried in the malts.

T: hops up front. malt bomb. mostly sticky molasses with a hint of caramel. more dimensional than the smell. The sweetness is offset by the burnt toast, bready character. there's a certain dryness to it that doesn't come from the hops. definitely burnt malts, but maybe wood notes as well. don't really pick up on the alcohol.

M: medium bodied. slight carbonation on the tip of the tongue. burnt malts and hops really resonate on the palate.

O: love stone. this one is a little deeper and darker than their ipas. complex malts. not particularly refreshing, but i think it follows through on its intention. bold brew for bold nights.

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Photo of eonbluekarma
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feels like a kick in the mouth. At over 100 ibu's this is definitely a STRONG ale. A nice toasted malt flavor sneaks in just as the hop takes over your palate. The head cream color and amber beer color are immaculate. The 7.2% alcohol will leave you slow drinking this arrogant bastard.

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Photo of DrCDPriest
3.37/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting name and imaginative backstory for the beer. I've tried it on different occasions, and have found it fairly consistent in what to expect from this brew.

Appearance - Pours a clear deep amber, more to the brown tint. In using a pint glass it had a nice head, about a finger an a half, and a small amount of lacing.

Aroma - You can smell the hops upon opening, very high hop nose with a bit of spiciness. If you love hops, the aroma won't disappoint you.

Taste - The taste truly follows the aroma. It tastes as it smells which helps you appreciate the distinct series of flavors. It begin with hops, a bit of spicy malt followed by what I'd describe as a bitter citrus grapefruit effect.

Mouthfeel - It is a medium body feel, a little on the flat side (on multiple occasions from different shops), and seems very light in the carbonation, a bit more might help those middle malt flavors pop a bit more.

Overall - This is a very nice beer for those loving a strong hop experience with bitter citrus after tones. Definitely an enjoyable experience.

Serving type: Bottle poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of Maracuja
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate brown, mahogany, bronze (to light) with a full brown head, sediment floaters, good carbonation, and little lace. Nice balanced malt and hop aroma; chocolate malt notes and piney hop aroma. Tastes much like it smells with an overly bitter finish; not pleasantly hoppy. Full bodied and creamy with a harsh bitter finish.

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Photo of BigBen61
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer with my meal at Pazzo's in Lexington, KY not long ago. I think the ratings of all the other beer advocates speak for themselves but I just had to review this beer. If you have ever had the opportunity to try Stone's Ruination and thought...WOW...I love hops but that could be toned down just a bit then this is the beer for you. For my palate, very similar to the ruination with a bit more maltiness and a bit less of the piney bitterness.

A-Beautiful...poured from 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. Not a heck of a lot of head when poured correctly but it's wonderful reddish brown color more than made up for the lack of head aesthetically.
S-Again, Very Impressive with a pretty complex floral/pine/citrus hop aroma. I'm not expert so I can't pick out all the little aromas just yet but the hops are sure in full bouquet here.
T-Obviously, as with any great beer this is where it blew me away. Rich nuttiness to balance and intense (but not too intense) hoppy bitterness and as smooth a beer for the ABV and Hop content as I've ever seen.
M-The carbonation in my bottle was a bit higher initially than I preferred but I took my time with this one and it played out well within a few minutes of being in my glass.
D-More drinkable than it's big bro (Ruination) but still not a beer that you could knock back for hours on end.

Overall, If you haven't tried this...then what the heck are you waiting for.

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Photo of mightymoksha
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in snifter.

Pours a beautiful amber/crimson color. Sticky, beige head which is very retentive and leaves intricate lacing.

Toasty grains, hops and alcohol make for a very aromatic nose. I think I smell plums as well.

In a one-two punch to the palate, a rich malt sweetness hits the palate, with notes of caramel and toasted malts, which is immediately supplemented with a big hop profile, with earthy, pine, floral and citrus notes. All underscored by a grainy alcohol prickliness. Lingering and flavorful aftertaste.

Coarse, full-bodied mouthfeel, with great carbonation level. Rich and decadent.

No pretenses to be found here; this is a 'big character' ale, indeed. Over-the-top and outrageously delicious.

A favorite.

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

Apparently Safeway carries this now.

a - Very dark rose-red color with creamy head that stays around. Almost looks like foamy, red wine.

s - Has a sweet, malty smell.

t - Again, very sweet and malty, with pretty prominent hints of chocolate and nuts.

m - Incredibly smooth, almost like cough syrup how it feels like it coats your mouth.

d - Usually these unique beers aren't very drinkable because they're so strong, but this one just goes down so easy. The flavor is so unique. Shame these are 5 bucks a pop.

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Photo of Jeebs
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark amber with 1.5 fingers worth of off white yellowish head. The head slowly dissipates and leaves GREAT lacing down the glass.

S: Smells of tropical fruits and hops with a hint of alcohol.

T: Starts off with a malty sweetness which turns into grapefruit and citrus, and ends with a nice hoppy bite.

M: Medium to full bodied with perfect carbonation! Bitter yet smooth.

D: Very drinkable beer! Great complex taste with perfect mouthfeel. If I could get this beer at home I would drink it all the time. I will definitely be picking a couple more bottles of this up before I head home!

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Photo of homersimpson67
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 22oz. bottle. Enjoy by 06.06.11 printed on bottle. And I definately did.
A-pours a beautiful dark copper/brown with about 1 finger of thick foam on the top. Excellent lacing in my Duvel tulip.
S-very subtle faint smell of pine and appricot? Just learning trying to imagine something clever but it just smells good.
T-nice balance that starts with a malty sweetness of cheries, that ends with a great hoppy bitterness on the tongue, love them hops!
M-feels just right, pretty smooth and light feeling at first but as it goes down you do appreciate the alcohol within.
O-very good to excellent, can't really define this beer type, sortoff a IPA but sort of a pale ale, not sure. Not unforgettable but will try again when the mood is right.

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Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a small, short lived head and not much noticeable carbonation.

Smell: Strong hops aroma apparent immediately, with faint hint of malty sweetness.

Taste: Very strong bitter hops taste, but not overpowering. Giving way to malt and yeast flavors, with bitter hop flavor lingering on palate. Interestingly, the bitter hops are both the first and last thing you taste, with other flavor profiles (mostly malt, with a touch of yeast) cropping up in between. Makes for a deep, complex flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with just a small touch of carbonation.

Overall: A great beer, especially for lovers of hoppy ales. The hops flavors are very strong, but don't overpower the rest of the flavors. Not a good introduction for those not accustomed to this kind of brew, and not the beer to start the night out with if you're planning on drinking more than one.

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Photo of rcairney1
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,913 ratings.