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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,915 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,915
Hads: 9,995
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,135 | 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: 2,915 | Hads: 9,995
Photo of morris786
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber large head with good lacing. Much more visually appealing than most beers. It's not overly aromatic but I'm detecting malts earthy hops and maybe hints of light Carmel and black licorice. Taste is more earthy hop forward with malt backbone and lingering hop finish. You still taste the hints of Carmel and licorice but it's very drowned out by the hops and also the alcohol that is very pronounced in the flavor. A very good beer overall and will definitely purchase again.

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Photo of halfpgl
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on draught, I was presented with a very dark red mahogany brew with a thin creamy head that clings to the glass all the way to the bottom. The nose did not impress me as much as the toasted malty flavor. The balance of malts to hops was nicely done with just enough bittering bite on the tongue to keep it interesting. The alcohol taste didn't hint to the 7.1%. If you want this as a session beer it will be a short night.

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Photo of RAdragna
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on numerous occasions, and let me say that this beer truly lives up to its name. It's an in-your-face type of beer all-around, from start to finish.

Appearance is reddish oak with an ivory head.

Smell is very aggressive and enticing; it's pretty much taunting at you to try it and not be a wuss.

The taste reminds one of a pure IPA; it gives the tastebuds a good kick in the ass with its strong citrusy and hoppy notes.

Mouthfeel is the same way, although it goes down smoothly.

Strong characteristics make this beer enjoyable, but not something you would want to drink over and over again.

Other than that, I'd highly recommend this beer being a fixture in anyone's fridge.

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Photo of xxHelderxx
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a huge fan of IPAs that disguise their alcohol content well. For this reason I love Southern Tier Unearthly and beers like Arrogant Bastard Ale.

A: A hazy, dark mahogany color poured smoothly from the bottle, resulting in a nice thick head (although not quite 2 fingers worth) with lots of lacing all the way to the end.

S: Kind of hard to identify a single element of this nose. Its got a sweet, cirtusy smell, but also has some alcohol to it. You really have to smell it for yourself, its a nice balance of sweet and toffee.

T: Dont let my little pre-amble make you think that you wouldnt recognize this as a double IPA off the bat, because you would. the hops hits pretty hard, but its also very sweet and balanced. The alcohol flavor is well hidden however.

M: Its got a little bit of that hops bite, a good a good amount of carbonation "sting" and a dry-ish aftertaste.

D: When considering this baby is a DIPA and high in alcohol content, its very drinkable. I just polished off a 22oz in short time, and I dont feel like dying or rinsing my mouth out with water. Its a great aftertaste for the DIPA lover, and I would recommend grabbing a bomber when you can.

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Photo of FallinDeck
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It has a nice slow pour, with a candy/ruby/brown coloring to the body. The off white head had some good lacing but nothing to write home about. OK smell, I never have liked grapefruit it should not be consumed by any human. Health nuts eat it all the time, what's up with that?? I get the eating things that don't taste like anything, but eating grapefruit is just nuts. The only way I was able to eat a grapefruit was with a whole sh*% lode of sugar to drown out the grapefruit, till I couldn't taste it anymore (I will never consume it again). It is in my opinion that grapefruit is one step away from being a poison to mankind. With all this said...
WOW who knew?? The smell of the bitter grapefruit coming off this beer made me skeptical, but then I had to taste it. There has never been a place for the grapefruit taste till now. The taste of the grapefruit and spice was very pleasing. Good mouthfeel with the spice and once it goes down a good finish spicy kick hits your taste buds. I really enjoyed this tasting, what a wakeup call for the mouth.

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Photo of Beast35
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber poured in dogfish head snifter

Pours a nice brownish red. looks beautiful really with a finger of sticky white head that hangs around.

Smells....floral hops and malt with alcohol notes in the back ground.

Taste...love this beer...my favorite Stone offering, malt, hops and friggin hilarious F*** you bottle that says it all...i am not worthy

Very drinkable but this is a strong ale so beware!

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Photo of mayorwalda
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm told I'm not worthy, and you know what, it might be true.

Stone Brewery's Arrogant Bastard Ale is quite a beauty to behold. From the pour you get a nice, dark brew, a deep red glow, that generates a good two finger head atop your glass that sits around for a long while, and leaves behind a bit of lace.

The aroma of this beer, before the first sip, is a hop-centric, somewhat grassy, somewhat piney bitter aroma which surprised me considering this brew's dark, malt-rich appearance.

Upon the first sip, a sip savored quite a while, I got a huge array of flavors that bring in, seemingly, every ingredient in this beer in their own organized waves. Initially, you get the bitter, somewhat tart taste of resinous malts and heaping amounts of hopps. After that taste hits your palate, though, you start to taste some of the sweetness of the malt and fruits they brew with all those hops! From the malt selection in this brew you can taste, primarily, some caramel malts complimented--if not just for color--by a bit of dark roast malts followed closely by a light and citrusy sweetness, as well as maybe a bit of tropical fruit. In short the taste of this ale is a roller coaster ride to be enjoyed full nice and slow, sip after sip.

While in mouth the mouthfeel of this brew can almost be ignored due to the immense amount of flavor going on in this brew, but this beer has a very complimentary medium body.

A: Dark, red, and frothy, with a good head and some lace.
S: Piney, hoppy and green, with a little bit of sweetness on the tail end.
T: Whoa! The taste is the total selling point of this brew. From hopps to fruit to malt this brew has it all in an unmatched, organized array of flavor.
M: Mouthfeel can be ignored for the most part but this beer's medium body compliments every other aspect really well.
O: Arrogant Bastard Ale is marketed correctly, I'd say. It's a wild brew with some serious flavor and a lot of complexity, which is miraculously well organized--it doesn't taste like everything at once. It also does a good job of keeping a first timer on their toes looking like a dark brew, smelling like an IPA and tasting like a well balanced red ale (with some uncharacteristic qualities!). Arrogant Bastard Ale might have to be a repeat buy, you know, just so I can get more acquainted and perhaps even "worthy".

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

What more needs to be said, 2675+ reviews and holding steady at A-. This is a big bold beer, the name and story on the bottle should be enough. If you can't handle it don't drink it and don't review it. If you're a Pilsner drinker this beer is not going to impress. If you're a big beer drinker who enjoys lingering hops and all the flavors that big beers should have then step right up. This beer is Stone's stellar offering and one that I will also choose unless I need to drive somewhere!

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Photo of dc87
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks good. Dark red, maroon colour. A little cloud. Head is just off-white. Nice lacing.

S - Very hoppy, just like an IPA. Floral and a little piney.

T - A really nice, big taste. A big caramel and bread malt taste up front. Quickly balances out perfectly with an equally big, piney hop flavour. Has a little spiciness to it. Aftertaste is boozey, bitter and citrusy. Overall a really great taste.

M - Also great. Pretty highly carbonated.

O - An exciting and very drinkable beer, with a lot of character. Very fun to drink. Will definitely have again.

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Photo of XXVII
4.61/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: dark amber with a thick frothy head

Smell: woody with a malting as that is sweet and lingers

Taste: oak and a subtle smoke followed by sweetness and finally a malty bitterness tht lingers lastly

Mouthfeel: feels much lighter than it looks. Leaves a slight stickiness on my lips

Overall: very good ale. I will be adding this to my regular purchases. A good change of pace from the normal high hoppiness I've been smashing regularly.

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Photo of Valley_Town_Sipper
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Put this beer up to the light and be amazed at how blood-red it appears. . . Has a lush dark look away from the light. The biggest knock against it is the beer lacks any real aroma. For what it lacks in smell though, it does a bang up job with the flavor profile. So crisp and malty up front that you don't really even notice the bitter bite till a few seconds later on the back of your pallet. For its price and how main stream it is, a very nice go-to. . .

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Photo of getatmeimevil
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!

But it's what got me started on craft, so I'm as biased as possible...

Pours a beautiful deep redish brown with a very light tan head. Smell is much more subtle than the name would imply but it gives you just enough hint at what's to come. Taste is where this beer makes its kill move, so smooth yet all the qualities that you want from a complex brew. As an IPA guy I love ther bitter bite at the end. Overall, this is my favorite beer, it's the beer I would constantly have fresh on tap in my house if possible.

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Photo of sutcliff
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a powerful brew and a joy to drink. For me, it a beer to enjoy occasionally but one I look forward to savoring. The magnum hops are a delight for the hop lovers. The aroma was rich and pungent. The malty background is smooth. The head was minimal. The color was warm brown and inviting.

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Photo of SSGPat
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not worthy.

A: Lovely pour. Reddish brown in color. Nice head that dissipates quickly into a nice lace.

S: Hoppy with malty undertones. Better than crappy yellow rice beer.

T: Wonderful. Malty and hoppy. Yet very mellow A very bitter aftertaste lingers.


D: I could drink this beer all day and all night long, until I dropped to the ground because I'm not worthy.

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Photo of barrettds
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy brown-red with a great head that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. Magnificent looking brew.

S - Smell is actually the weakest aspect of ABA. Nothing really jumps out at me when give it the old waft n' sniff. Maybe some nutty malts.

T - Citrus hops at first followed by a rush of delicious nutty malt. A bitter but welcomed hop finish, as well as a nice warming trait. Good winter brew.

M - Smooth, slightly creamy and with the perfect amount of carbonation. Very satisfying.

D - A very heavy ale that packs a good punch. I'm now left with about 9 oz left of a 22 oz bottle and I feel pretty happy. Good thing this is expensive, otherwise you'd be in a world of hurt the next morning.

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Photo of FlyFisher2782
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this one lives up to its hype. Served from a bomber.

Pours a beautiful brown copper color with average 2 finger head.

Never have I had a more well rounded ale. From the moment it hits your mouth there are several flavors that come across, malted caramel, cherries? and very slight citrus of some sort.

Where this ale really earns its stripes is the finish, with so many complex flavors, they have hopped it perfectly to allow them all to be rounded out without an overpowering hop finish.

There is NO WAY this is a 7.2% beer, drinks like an absolute dream, smoothest ale I have had to date.

I bought a case after my 1st one.

Anyone have any double bastard they want to trade?

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Photo of freeeekyyy
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown. Little carbonation.

S - Mostly malt. Not much of a hop smell.

T - Some vanilla, a little banana, alot of malt, and not as much hop flavor as I remember it having from when I last had arrogant bastard. That was bottled though. I think there might be a difference.

M - Not as heavy as a stout, but moreso than almost anything else.

D - Pretty drinkable. I think I could have had another if I weren't concerned about getting drunk.

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Photo of FishHeadLover
4.95/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This (obviously) is one of my favorite beers to drink on a regular basis.
A- Dark amber color with a good white head that laces around the glass. I love the way this beer looks.
S- Aggresive hop odor, very aggresive hop odor. Everytime I drink this beer, and I drink it often, I forget how hoppy it is and it always brings a smile to my face.
T- WOW!! So stong and hoppy. I get a piny after taste with a bite in the back of my mouth. Yum!
M- Once its in your mouth you know its a stong ale and you can definatly tell the ABV. Makes your tounge happy before destroying your tastebuds.
D- Yes Yes YES!! Sorry I just really enjoy this beer. I recomend it to anyone who mentions they like a hoppy beer.

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Photo of kgrober
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another from a Stone tasting:

Appearance was nice amber/mahogany color. Nice head with lacing throughout

Smell was bourbon, woody, with alcohol and hops.

Taste was very 'in your face', strong start to finish with layers of flavor and hops.

Strong, but drinkable. Definitely lived up to its name.

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Photo of Diesel76
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first beer ever from Stone Brewing. It was on tap at a local sports bar... and I loved it. Great taste, great appearance... it is what a good ale should be!

My next trip to BevMo and I saw some of their other beers, I knew I was in for a treat. A tasty treat! Bravo Stone Brewing!

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

Appeared dark brown almost black. Pours a brilliant thick head that kept it's pillowy top all the way down to the last gulp. Perfect rings form to count each sip, with cobweb laces sliding down the glass.

Smell reminds me of a drive down the country road, past the wheat fields, through the corn rows, and accross the dairy, of all places. Very earthy.

Taste begins very organic, then turns to honey glazed sweet rolls, only to be puckered up with a barrage of hops that stay in the back of the throat for a loooong time.

Mouthfeel is immense, creamy, and delighfully full. This beer is enormous.

Overall this beer was enoyable to sip while driving down slice after slice of my favorite pizza. After my pizza was gone, I had a difficult time finishing the beer. The beer completely warps your sense of what beer can be. Perhaps the label is correct, I'm not worthy.

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Photo of IrishMike
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'Tis a shame, living in Jersey; no bottle of Stone can be found at any store within this state. Ah well, thanks to the wonderful resource of the online trading forum, i was able to grab a nice 22oz bomber of this. Many thanks to mntlover for the help!

Appearance- Pours a deep copper with a healthy, but not excessive, amount of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass. 1" off-white head with excellent retention and small sparkles of lacing all about. Barley-wine esque, with better retention and more carbonation.

Smell- Very nice, i'm a big fan of caramel and this seems to slap on plenty of it. Nice hops round out the nose as well; background floral notes fight, but eventually give up, a losing battle with the strong malt character. Tiny roasted character hiding in there somewhere.

Taste- Ever feel like you've just been slapped after taking a sip of beer? This is only the second time this strange feeling has occured with me, and the other time was with the wayyy wild Old Crusty. Sweet upfront, excellent caramel/toffee/nutty taste that seems to be relatively mild and even "normal". The beer then makes you apologize for ever thinking it was normal for even a second. Hops come in, citrusy/grapefruity, but they are still nice and somewhat subdued. After-taste is a solid slap to your jaw. Pure brutality. I love it. I read other reviews stating that this beer lacks a certain balance, and it's true. But it's polarizing in that sense; a love it or hate it taste if i've ever seen one. I happen to be one of the people that really liked it.

Mouthfeel- Thanks to the brutual bitterness that comes from this brew, the taste will stay in your mouth for a LONG time. That's not a bad thing at all (consdering it tastes great), except after drinking a large amount of it the after-taste does seem to wear you down a little. Very thick and oily.

Drinkability- i could THEORETICALLY see how someone could make this a session brew, but it just isn't my type. Beats me up too badly. Grab a glass here and there, though, and i'll be a happy man. Great taste, just a bit too rugged to be making a frequent trip to.

I read the back label, and Stone made it a point to say that "i probably wouldn't like this beer". Well, i loved it, but i can see how the average macro drinker (the same macros that advertise "say goodbye to aftertaste" these days) would hate this brew with a wild passion. Strong, brutal, and arrogant. What a nice way to start off my experience with Stone.

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Photo of kevin62
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This large bottle poured out a reddish brown color ,with a thin head that quickly dissappears.The aroma is of hops and more hops ,as well as pine and citrus.The taste is also hoppy and citrusy,and I guess if this is your favorite style,you will like this beer.As for myself,I think it is a little too hoppy and while I thought it was good.I guess I was expecting more.I suppose I am not worthy.

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Photo of WaffleSauce
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

. This is the beer that started it all for me. The first time I had ABA was the first time I saw the light. . .

Poured from a bomber into my trusty Stone pint glass. Nice, frothy head, about 1" - 3/4", an eggshell brown head, Hardly any bubbles to speak of, and not a whole lot of lacing action.

I could sit and smell this beer all day. The nose just beckons you to jump in. Very sweet, and tart, an almost prune-like hint.

Strong tart taste up front which hangs on to the front of your tongue, and quickly rolls down the throat as a spicy, piney taste. It’s damn near impossible to keep up with how quickly the profile of this beer changes on you. I know there were some deeper fruity and coffee flavors in there between the upfront tart and the rolling spice, but it’s worthless trying to track them all.

This was (and still is) my favorite beer to watch a movie with. As your glass mellows, and the beer changes temperature, you’ll get a slightly different taste down to the last drop. Call me a wussy, but I don’t like to drink these one after the other. Generally following an Arrogant Bastard, I like to move to some sort of hoppy IPA. This bear is definitely heavy and complex, and tends to leave one with cottonmouth reminiscent of high school days. Definitely recommended for any fan of strong ales. If you’ve never had it, read the back before you buy it. It aint lying!


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Photo of Wutz
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed and submitted on 6-19-09

I got this guy at Davidson's in Denver when I was down for a weekend of family stuff. I had heard a lot about it so I grabbed it the first time I saw it. I'm glad I did.

Appearance - A firm pour gave me three fingers of head perched atop a burnt red mass of goodness. The head subsided with in minutes and added a bit of lacing to the glass all the way down.

Aroma - Earthy, orangy and a little earthy hops right away. After sitting it down for a minute, the next whiff gave me pears and caramel. Odd...

Taste - It starts with a big bunch of sweetness followed by a bucket of bitter. I got brown sugar and caramel with some fruitiness and then the bitter truck shows up which leaves an almost stinging bitterness that can only be quenched by another drink. As it warms the malt seems to give a toasty and grainy version of itself. I keep getting a small but unpleasant dose of alcohol with each drink. I don't feel like it enhances the brew at all.

Mouthfeel - This guy is creamy and thick. It definitely encouraged picking the glass back up and having another swallow.

Drinkeriness (because I hate "drinkability") - It's best described by the inner dialog I noticed myself having during this review: "Why does it take so long to take these notes? I should be drinking this beer instead of writing about it." The taste makes you want to drink a few of these (if I had another) but the bit of alcoholic taste makes me slow down the process.

Overall, this is a great beer. I'm really happy that I went (way) out of my way to grab this when I had the chance. I definitely be doing my best to get ahold of another one when I'm in a Stone-friendly area.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,915 ratings.