Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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: 9,990
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,133 | 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: 2,915 | Hads: 9,990
Photo of cdmastro
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find this beer at one of our regular haunts.

A- Nice, crisp, clear, dark copper with a thin tan head.

S- Served a bit cold, so the aromas were not immediately available. Piney hoppy, but noticable maltiness.

T- Fair when cold, but developed nicely as it warmed. Good balance of hops and malt. Pine type hoppiness, but subtle.

M- Pleasant texture, not oily as expected based on hop level.

D- Too drinkable for a 7%+ beer. After 2, I took a walk to test the affects. OK, but 3 would be pushing it.

 519 characters

Photo of Grimes
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many times on tap, but for fear of coming across as the pretentious a$$hole in the bar, I have yet to review it. I finally found it bottled and decided to give it my utmost attention.

I smelled it first in the bottle because I couldn't wait, and my mouth is watering.

Pours a deep, dark amber with a pillowy off-white head.

Smells of huge amounts of piney hopsand bright citrus notes. If only I could find a cologne with a similar smell, I'd probably spend many a night home alone :)

Taste is sweet and bright with a powerful hops bite at the very end.

I'm in love with this beer. If Stone has a musician endorsement program, someone please let me know because I would drink this beer on stage every night!

 734 characters

Photo of ders
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice dark brown beer. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass gave it a little bit off head. Looks like it's going to taste dark and fluffy.

S- Nutty? Smells dark (I'm used to IPA's and paler ales than this). I'm worried.

T- Wow. Expected to be overhelmed my malts, but I'm not. It's a good dark flavor, but doesn't stick. Has some good bitter hops that stay with you.

M- Good amount of carbonation. Nice.

D- I could have a couple pints, but not much more (well, unless you twist my arm). Tastes great, but it's gonna fill you up!

 536 characters

Photo of Golden
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured bomber into a stocky tulip. Clear and deep red with a pale golden yellow head that reduces quickly and leaves some lacing. Smells hoppy with caramel but leaves me wanting more. Taste is sweet and hoppy in the beginning, followed by biter hops in the middle. The sweetness is balanced by the aggressive hopping as well as the vigorous carbonation. Sweet and bubbly mouth feel has a bit to much carbonation for my taste, but that very carbonation makes the beer more drinkable.

A fine ale.

 495 characters

Photo of beeristhefuture
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt caramels are the overpowering flavor in this beer. It's filling and potent. One almost feels like one is drinking a stout, and should be prepared to be very full after this drink. Otherwise, the gasses and nitrogeny feel make this beer creep across the tongue wonderfully, and the hazelnut aftertaste will make this beer something to be glad to have on a cold winter night.

 379 characters

Photo of jeffsala
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark Brown with reddish hues. Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bomber. Very nice head that lingers in the glass.

S - Malty with sweet tones. Lightly hopped with citrus and pine smells present.

T - There is a lot going on with this brew. The malt hits first and then a pine/citrus tone as an aftertaste. It's an interesting beer and definitely well crafted, but not to the point where would put it on my top 10 list.

M - Rich and Satisfying. The ABV is not to noticeable and agreeable aftertaste.

D - To me this is a one and done beer as least when presented in the bottle. I remember a somewhat different experience when I had it on Draft at Mad Mex in State College PA. I would like to try it again on tap and then revise this review if the experience is different.

 783 characters

Photo of guyforget
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep mahogany amber with a nice creamy head that dissipates to a foam that laces the glass with nearly every sip.

nose is nice but not huge, nicely hoppy but not intimidating. hints of malt and caramel.

taste is great, citrus hops up front that finishes with toasty, caramel maltiness. almost a hint of bread or yeast in the very back.

feels clean in the mouth, average carbonation for the style, bitterness lingers but not intrusive.

very drinkable. i wouldnt want to have more than 2 bombers in a night, but its always a possibility for purchase.

 564 characters

Photo of sportscrazed2
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured out of bottle into pint glass. Poured a nice brown color with about a cm head that leaves great lacing.

Aroma: caramel

Taste: Caramel malt up front with citrusy hop flavors mixed in. Finishes a bit bitter but a pleasant bitterness.

Mouthfeel: what can i say about mouthfeel? it isn't watery but not too heavy. perfect

Overall: kickass beer

 364 characters

Photo of professorninja
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this on tap at Timmy O'toole's in Streeterville. This beer is great (by my gauge, the best stuff O'toole's has on tap).

A - The beer looks good. Not fantastic, but respectable. A friend got this for me from the bartender, along with a bottle of macro-piss for himself. I saw him look at his bottle and then my beer and I thought, "Jealous?"

S - I didn't notice anything great about the smell, but it smelled good. I don't really stick my nose in a beer and sniff at sports bar, so it might smell really good; whatever.

T - The taste is great. Um... nothing stands out in my memory right now, but it tastes like a want something I'm going to drink a lot of to taste.

D - This is what makes the beer. It goes down smooth, and leaves you wanting more. Good for the beer.

 777 characters

Photo of BarrelSelect
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper-brown, redish. Nice foam becomes thin and persistant. Aromas of toasted caramel, nut, grass and floral hops. Taste medium sweetness, medium-heady bitterness, caramel, nut, alcool at the end. Medium bodied, bitter finish last long. Really good beer.

 261 characters

Photo of inglebk
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass
1 1/2 inch head. Deep clear amber with lingering creamy head. Lacing that just won't go away. Pretty sexy.

Smells of citrusy hops and grapefruit. Sweet and bready malts. Really nice and complex aroma.

Hops hit the tongue at first, followed by the perfect balance of malty sweetness. I could definitely make a habit of drinking this stuff.

One of the most balanced beers I've tried. Mouthfeel is thick and lingering. Citrus hops stay on the tongue with a bread/biscuit aftertaste.
Great beer.

 521 characters

Photo of griffinn
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Deceptively ordinary dark ale. Some bottles possess the odd visible cluster of bitter yeast colonies floating about. Drink these, they're part of the experience.

S: A strange mystery alluding to the taste that is yet to come. It's hard to describe the number of smells clawing their way out of this beer, but it's safe to say that in spite of the intrigue they create, they are nothing compared to what you're about to experience. Indeed, that is the exact impression they give you.

T: A bizarre assault of bitterness and shockingly multi-layered flavor upon flavor, too many to be listed, several indescribable in modern English.

O: The Arrogant Bastard is a wonderful masterpiece of a booze that can only be enjoyed when the moon turns blue. True to the lengthy essay of a description slathered all over the back of every 22oz bottle (which wisely opens with the warning, "you probably won't like this beer,"), it is definitively an offensive, virtually undrinkable beer. It does not go well with any known food, nor does it really suit the palette of any known human on Earth.

That being said, it is truly a work of art, a dark sorcerer in the mouth that is truly great yet terrible, something instantly beloved yet despised for its harsh hoppy character and riveting but confusing enigma of flavors. This is a strong ale to be tasted and maybe even enjoyed, but cautiously respected. Quite simply, tasting it is like having your mouth ripped to pieces. It's the sort of thing everyone should definitely try at least once, just for the experience, so they can gain the tiniest understanding of what good beer should taste like, but it strikes me as being too far ahead of its time.

tldr; This is a great and powerful booze, but BE WARNED. You might not be ready.

 1,773 characters

Photo of bullseyestrat
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. I honestly saw the 22oz bottle at my local store in 2010 i think and saw the cover...hmmm this looks pretty cool maybe I should give it a shot. I don't regret it at all. Its a very complex American ale that will kick you in the butt and leave you wanting more. I have had it in the bottle as previously said. Along with a tap pour at the bar Strange Brew in Manchester, NH. All I can say is the bottle is no match for the tap by a long shot. Stronger, tastier, and I'm sure it has to be more than 7.2abv. Kind of reminds me of those old muscle cars that are rated by gross horsepower under the SAE standards at the time...but if you drove one now compared to the newer muscle cars you can definitely tell they were being modest.
Anyways it has a reddish black appearance with a head that always appears no matter how you pour it. In a good way it has a mind of its own. Smellwise Arrogant Bastard has alot going on. You can smell and taste the cascade hops and other stuff I can't put my finger on. Its aggressive and complex to say the least.
Tastewise like I said it kicks you in the butt and leaves you wanting more. Its very similar to an IPA but its not quite in the same category. Its very bold, aggressive, and tasty for someone looking for a rather full bodied ale. In you mouth like I said goes similar to an IPA but not quite. Its bold, full, and not as bitter as most IPA's but kicks your tastebuds almost like one.
Overall the label on the bottle isn't too far from the truth. If you are more into lighter beers I'd sip or steer clear of Arrogant Bastard Ale. Otherwise Arrogant Bastard Ale a very full-bodied American Strong Ale that will kick you in the butt and keep you coming back for more!

 1,754 characters

Photo of sheetbird
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - deep red and clear
S - surprisingly faint to the nose, with more malt than hops present
T - starts of light and works into a strong hop that lingers long on the tongue
F - light body, but not thin
O - The faint nose makes the strong hop character a nice surprise

 266 characters

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

Presentation: 22 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz glass.

Appearance: Mahogany colored beer with nice amount of head. Excellent clarity.

Smell: Grapefruity hop aroma with some malt creeping through.

Taste: Wow! This is hoppy. If you love big citrusy American hops (and I do) then this is for you. Hop flavor dominates, but there is some sweet maltiness as well. This beer has an aggressively hoppy taste.

Overall impression: If you love high alcohol, heavily hopped beers, this is for you.

 500 characters

Photo of halfassedjedi
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer review, and as im not very skilled in the art of beer tasting, im kinda winging it here.
Bought this beer after the chargers lost to the patriots in this years playoffs. Big bummer for me, but whatever.
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Beer poured a very nice amber mahogany shade. Nice thick one finger head that stayed more or less towards the end of the drink. Lacing was decent. Mouthfeel, to me, was pretty good but a bit bitter. I like bitter, but it lingered a bit longer than I would have liked. Other than that, taste was awesome. Nice and malty, with enough hops to balance it out. I would recommend this to any fan of nice dark ales.

 676 characters

Photo of RedneckChemist
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my favorite pint glass

Appearance: Beautiful orange-brown beer with light beige head. About two fingers with good retention and impressive lacing.

Smell: Nice balance here. Sweet malts are there, but there is no doubt that hops live here.

Taste: Wow! There is a lot of depth to this flavor. Outstanding! The hops, piney and earthy, are absolutely the centerpiece of this beer, but the malt comes through to give wonderful balance to this brew. Slight alcohol warming lets you know its working.

Mouthfeel: With so many flavors going on in this beer, it is a mouthful. Medium-bodied feel gives room for the explosion of flavors that lie beneath.

Drinkability: On flavor alone, I could drink this all night long. However, with the amped-up abv, I believe it best to limit these to one or two in a sitting.

Highly recommended beer! There is so much going on in this beer that it is better experienced than explained. I keep a spare in the fridge to share with any misguided friends that wonder in with inferior beer in their arms. At least for once they get to experience what a real beer is all about.

 1,148 characters

Photo of lapbplayr
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

It is funny that this beer is labeled as an american strong, becuase I feel it is more like a red, or more exact a double read or an imperial red. Stone starting making this beer before the doubles and imperials were being applied to beer, so there was not a category for it then. I had this beer off of tap and in a 32 oz glass. It looked rather normal, similar to other beers. The aroma is through the roof hoppy and a little like honey from the malts. the taste is very strong bitter on the front end, but leaves smoothly. There is a full bodied mouth feel to this beer, where you will almost gag on it if you have had too much to drink. This is a great beer and I am thankful I live in CA so I can buy this is some grocery stores.

 734 characters

Photo of callmeopus
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Cask at Thirsty Monk with "American Oak Chips" added. Tasted 1 hour after it was tapped and set on the top of the bar. I found the cask to be a lot more mellow (in aroma, taste, hop-bite, and carbonation) than the original Bastard. This special cask version had a buttery taste and texture, with just the merest hint of wood. Whereas one Arrogant Bastard will leave my tongue dry, I was able to down two glasses with tongue and mouth intact. Once warmed up, the pine aroma wafted tantalizingly from the glass.

 512 characters

Photo of SouthAtholSuds
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fizzie yellow beer is for wussies. That says it all. Beer pours a dark ruby copper hue with a frothy head. The malts on the nose in this beer are quite powerful and mask the smell of the hop profile nicely. The thick malty syrup-like quality to this beer makes it like no other (except oak aged and double bastard). The huge malt character to the beer balances so nicely with the hops that they are almost undetectable. Strong alcohol is masked nicely and balanced perfectly. I want to pour this beer on my ice cream.

 517 characters

Photo of Nedjimb0sTavern
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: rich red-orange, deep amber with a thick foamy head

smell: floral hop and carmel malt aroma, faint alcohol

taste: it's like a well balanced, rich, hoppy amber ale. Very pleasing to the palate.

mouthfeel: very smooth and enjoyable

drinkability: it's powerful, but it goes down very easy. I find it ironic that the bottle advertises that it's too bold or aggressive compared to macrobrews because this goes down much easier than the cheap stuff.

I was expecting something a little more powerful, something along the lines of a belgian strong ale, and this definitely surprised me. I kind of thought it was just an extra malty IPA, but about halfway through the bomber the rich and complex flavors really came through. My only regrets are that it would be pricy to drink this stuff on a regular basis :3

 817 characters

Photo of jkempe11
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Honestly, I drank one of these a long time ago when I was just young and naïve... But now that I am a much more experienced beer drinker, I had to try it again. I have learned to love hoppy beer, so I wanted to give it a shot and see what I would think now that I know what to look for.

Appearance - this beer is a deep reddish color. Very dark, almost mahogany. Some dark orange notes.

Smell - Honestly, everything. I can smell bready malts, I think. And citrusy hops.

Taste - Just strong and great. Hops upfront, the alcohol and bitterness appears in the back.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and syrupy in the mouth. Great texture.

Drinkability - It's ruinous, but at the same time very drinkable. I feel like I could drink a few of these, but then again I know my tastebuds would just be ruined.

 791 characters

Photo of gramatton
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Woohoo for my first review.

Poured into a pint glass

Very dark beer with a 1 finger toffee colored head that stuck around for abit with some lacing. The bottle was a very good read.

Smell was great, smelled like dark fruit with maybe a hint of apricot.

Taste was like an assault on my tongue. Left a bitter taste on my tongue that was not unpleasant that lasted for awhile.

Felt great in the mouth, slightly carbonated.

Overall an amazing beer, slightly bitter but still awesome. And a privilege for it to be my first review.

 533 characters

Photo of OldeEnglishD
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really looking forward to this beer as I had heard so much about it. Let me tell you it didn't dissappoint! Everything about this beer delivers, from the excellent deep coloring to the great head of foam, to the complex series of flavors. Every sip brought a new nuance of flavor that kept me wanting more. The only drawback to the beer is that it is slightly heavy to be a session beer, but it is definately the first beer I will grab when I start off the night.

 469 characters

Photo of 2DaMtns
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this from a bomber into a tall glass and had it while I finished cooking a burger. It was initially a bit harsh, but the more I drank the more I liked it. It was chilled but not ice cold when I poured it, and I liked it more once it warmed up a couple degrees. Worth another try for sure.

 295 characters

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