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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,657 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,657
Reviews: 2,786
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 260
Gots: 954 | FT: 5
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: 8,657 | Reviews: 2,786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark amber in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a creamy finger tall beige that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malt sweetness upfront with lots of piney hops.

T: Heavy flavors of pine/resin hops that are quite oily - there is an intense and aggressive bitterness to this beer. Underneath there is a caramel malt sweetness. Not quite in balance but still enjoyable. The bitterness lingers.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: The alcohol is well hidden in this beer but it is not an easy beer to drink - the hoppy bitterness is kind of too intense for my palate. It is an enjoyable but more of a slow sipper - not the greatest match with food (in my opinion) as the flavor is too dominant.

dbrauneis, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of wl0307
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from the BSF bar of GBBF 2008; coming in a 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. brown bomber bottle, served cool in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped goblet;

A: pours an ultra elegant dark mahogany hue, coming with fairly good clarity and moderate, fine fizziness; the dark beige creamy froth comes thin but tight and creamy, lasting loyally throughout the drink.
S: tell me what's the difference b/w this and an "American DIPA"?... maybe the colour and (by inference) how much dark malt takes up the overall percentage of the ingredients. Apart from that, the aroma here is just as marvellous as any heavily hopped American ale - the creamy malt, sweet nutty, sweet coffee-ish, raisiny and longan-fruity façade cannot prevent the rich, spongy, thickly aromatic hoppiness from sneaking through. The fantastic lychee-ish hops are truly pleasantly pronounced but not quite as sharp or lively as other heavily hopped ales by Stone, maybe due to the equally assertive presence of complex and oily maltiness.
T: simply sublime - the lubricating hoppy swallow of grapefruits and lychees fruits along with lots of mixed dried fruits is never far from semi-toasted walnuts and jammy malts; the aftertaste develops seamlessly following the tail of the main flavour, not so sharp but rather 3D-structured bitter, as a sign of interaction b/w dark/lightly-toasted malts and quality hops. The finish goes especially enticing but deep, where the chewy part of the almost roast tea-ish hops creeps down the palate and renders a dry but soothingly bitter finish down the wings of the tongue. Not to be ignored is a delicate touch of black cherry, licorice and spice that adds to the overall complexity. This is an Anglo-American hybrid ale at its best, I reckon.
M&D: due to successful bottling, the palate is really fresh and helps to lift the weight by a good margin with only the necessary dose of soft carbonation; the flavour profile is balanced, deep, yet overall surprisingly approachable - I find myself in deep thought about the structure of this ale and blissful imagination of how it might have tasted on the cask-conditioned form... Truly, a "well-hopped premium bitter" like this (this is how I appreciate this ale, regardless of any self-acclaimed beer style imposed here or by Stone, which it hasn't) shouldn't be an "Arrogant Bastard" in any sense. Frankly, I've never been able to grasp the humour (or pretentiousness) of Stone's beer-naming "strategy" (on top of lines and lines of unnecessary/redundant/quite uninformative explanation on the back label for many ales they bottle), which is quite a failure; but, I loyally love their beers. This AB is firmly on my top 3 from this brewery (so far) without a doubt. Being this drinkable and approachable, I almost feel I can stick to this ale the whole night...

wl0307, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap, fresh and tasty! pours a regal dark auburn, tiny bubbles lifting a moderate head and leaving some killer lace. This brew oozes HOPS, citrus, grapefruit, resins. Oaty/bready malt balance. This is a tasty strong brew to be cherished and sought out, again and again...enjoy the Arrogance!

Billolick, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy dark amber with a small head. hazy. The smell is of grapefruit and spicy hops. Tastes spicy, grapefruity, and piney from all the hops. Long finish, amore grapefruit at the end. A little raw tasting, with a little bit lack of integration. The mouthfeel is alittle overcarbonated and a little thin. Not creamy. A pretty big beer and nice and brawny, but a little superficial and harsh.

Georgiabeer, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap in a tumbler.

A: The darkest of the line-up, a rich dark caramel amber color. Still translucent, this beer has the visual heft an arrogant one needs. A white head laces in thick strata around the glass.

S: Very malty. Very hoppy. Plenty of both make this beer fire. The caramel is syrupy, a sweetly dry introduction that coaxes out the citrusy pine bitterness of the ale. Big and bold.

T: The caramel jumps out as the malts stake an early lead. That richness tends to linger throughout the ale. The hops, piney and citrusy, quickly come in to balance things out. They bring an intensity that is both hoppy and flavorful. A boozy warmth runs throughout the ale.

M: A delicious fullness that doesn't feel nearly as strong as it actually is. Plenty of hops but more than enough balance.

akorsak, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -4.1%

duceswild, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a golden-brown body with a creamy thick beige head that last for a good bit and a slow carbonation of bubbles.
S- The full green citrus hops aroma has pineapple weed and resin aromas to it. As the beer warms up the caramel malt comes through and adds nice balance.
T- The green herbal and citrusy hops have green grapefruit zest notes and a nice pine bite to it. There was just a bit of grassy flavor but not much. The malt was a nice sweet malt with some toasted flavors and caramel qualities. The hop bitterness finished the beer and lingered a bit after each sip. M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz that boost the hop finish and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- I'm not sure I could distinguish between this and the regular AB but it as a great beer. It would have been nice to have a full 12. oz glass but I'm not sure I could drink many of these in one sitting.

rhoadsrage, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Escondido to Vendome to my house, on to the beer:

Poured into a huge Oktoberfest mug, its a rich amber orange color with a thick and everlasting head. Dextrin, caramel, citrus, and hops are noticed through the smell. The taste is somewhat enjoyable, though it leans towards the bitter side. They don't call it Arrogant Bastard for nothing! The bitter hops and citrus are more intense in the flavor than the smell, but I think there needs to be a little more malt (update: I object your honor! It's already pretty malty and sweet.) Perhaps I've been spoiled by its maltier brother, Double Bastard. Despite that, you can taste the sweet flavor more as the beer warms up. It's awfully sticky as some of it spills around my lips.

It's not my favorite of Stone's products, as this Bastard will come right after you. This is a beer that gets better the more samples you have of it (the original overall score was 3.85).

DoubleJ, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear very dark ruby brown ale.

Smells sweet and hoppy as hell, it's a hop monster.

There might be some complex flavors in here but the hops obliterates everything else. Bitter in the extreme.

Mouthfeel is ok.

Not really drinkable. Might be able to choke it down.

Flushed the rest of the bottle down the toilet.

RE-REVIEW, yes I am the guy who gave this an overall 2.0.


The first time I reviewed this.

Appearance is still a "Pours a clear very dark ruby brown ale."

Smell is sweet and malty with a banana scent that is rather nice. Nice malt and tutty fruity scent to this.

Taste is still super hoppy although I can taste the other good points mainly the malt and fruity flavors from the hops. Still this is a mighty bitter brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

I can drink this, maybe I just grew to like Hop Monsters? Who Knows?

Zorro, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

ejimhof, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this a few times and I really can't get into this beer. I have had it out of the bottle aged a little and it was too malty. I have had it fresh on tap and it was just a whole mess of things going on.

Pours a beige head. Color is an amber.

Aroma: Lots of malts and hops. Caramel and chocolate with floral and grassy hops. Citrus fruits blend in.

Taste: Pretty much the same as the nose. A mix of malts and hops all blended together. Not really my thing. I like the hop profile, but the malts take away from it too much.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, as I said early this beer just isn't my thing. Go hops or go malts here. The mix isn't my style for this beer.

mothman, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

BARFLYB, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of superspak
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by 2/28/2012. Pours slightly hazy brick red color with a nice 2 finger dense dark cream colored head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, pine, toasted grain, biscuit, grapefruit, light chocolate, herbal, and a touch of dark fruit. Fantastic aromas here with great balance. Taste of big caramel, biscuit, pine, grapefruit, light chocolate, toasted malt, herbal hops, and some dark fruit. Nice amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toasted malt, pine, chocolate, and citrus on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance with the bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very smooth and easy to drink, but is still a bit of a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden; with hardly any warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a fantastic brew from Stone. I have not had this in a while, but it impressed me much more this time around. Excellent balance; with nice flavor complexity.

superspak, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a extrodarie beer. Pours a dark amber/red. Not much of a head and leaves a small trace of lacing. Scents of hops and malt in a sweet surrounding. Medium body with a great sweet taste with a little hop bite at the end. I really like this brew and would make a great session beer.

Wasatch, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to reviewing this legendary beer.

The beer appears a gorgeous hue of ruby tinged sunburst orange. The head is off white and measures a finger's width, leaving some sticky lacing on the sides of the goblet. The aroma offers pine, hops, malt, bread, alcohol. The flavor brings a subtle sharpness, with dank malts and pine resin. Lingering pine and wet hop flavors with a substantial malt body. Medium to full bodied. Overall, a solid beer. I would have this again.

Huhzubendah, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrogance is Bliss. Arrogant bastard pours a amber/brown with a nice pillowy off white cloud of a head. Chunks of lacing.

Smells of bready malts and some hops lying underneath.

Intense piney hops with vague caramel in the background. Resinous hop tones with a caramel finish. Grapefruit flavors fall flat, leaving a bit more pine and a distant roastedness.

Medium to full bodied, a bit prickly on the palate. Semi Dry finish.

A classic hoppy, strong beer here. Warms the soul in the winter months and quite tasty any time really.

Stinkypuss, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" dark tan head over the clear burgundy red brew. Hearty holds on well, with ample lacing. Aroma is dominantly hoppy, with citrus and pine powering the experience. Taste starts a bit lacking in my mind, not as richly malty as I would expect. But never fear, the hops kick in a take over, with bursts of bitterness that impress, without making you cringe from overdoiung it. Mouthfeel is smooth for such a hoppy offering, and drinkability is dangerously good. Had this many times, just never got around to reviewing, reminds me why I keep coming back.

ppoitras, Dec 04, 2006
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
Very nice amber/golden body with a two 1/2 finger foaming head that lingered and laced.
Smell of grapefruit hits first, followed by pine and malt.
Taste was strong; hops-grapefruit, good oil effect to coat, but didn't get in the way of the taste. Curls the tongue and puckers up the lips. Darn good.
The first several sips are intimidating, but very addictive.
Good crisp finish. Nice beer.

Mebuzzard, May 06, 2006
Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 2/5/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing.

A: Pours a very dark amber, almost ruby color with an off-white one finger bubbly head. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Some juicy citrus and a little bit of tropical fruit. Also get a good bit of malt, lots of caramel.

T: Nice citrus fruit flavor and some pine. A little bit of spiciness and a lot of sweetness from the malt. There is some brown sugar and some biscuit/caramel as well.

M/D: Medium bodied very creamy. Has a bitter dry finish. Overall, quite good. A little heavier on the malt than expected, but something I would definitely drink again.

mdaschaf, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

BillRoth, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

brandoman63, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrogant Bastard is of a beautifully polished cherry-wood colour that would look every bit as classy and handsome as a bar top as it does just sitting on one. Its leaking highlights broadcast the fact that this deep, darkish beer is actually spotlessly transparent and chalk full of fetching chroma. Its head is a tarnished ecru and leaves a sticky mess of lacing.

I'm sure Stone has already looked into whether it's possible to legally trademark a smell - this audaciously hoppy aroma is distinguished by the sheer pomposity of its wickedly bitter pithiness and unrivaled piny attributes. It smells like someone set a (Tim Burton-inspired) forest on fire and grinned the singed and seething remains into the bottle.

Imagine encountering a dark, sinister side to pink grapefruit, pine serum and toffee-coated wafers. In fact, Arrogant Bastard is kind of like a vigilante - not everyone will agree with the way it goes about things but few will dispute the overall good brought about. Do its flavours need to be this brazen and excessively bitter? Couldn't we have just had a bright and citric hoppiness without all these harassing, pithy, weedy herbals?

Couldn't we have a leisurely walk through the forest rather than death by a thousand pine needle pin-pricks? Couldn't we have a spritz of citrus rather than being gagged with a festering, entire grapefruit in our mouth? Couldn't we have sweet, toasty biscuits rather than having the sugar scorched directly onto our tongue? In so many words... no.

If you want all smiles and sunshine then look elsewhere because the experience here is not the sunshine, it's the storm weathered. And to hell with smiles. This is about being brash, impertinent, impudent, ill-mannered, unabashed and, in a word, arrogant. This may be the world's most deliberately unappealing flagship beer... which is exactly why it's so popular.

Love it or loath it, this beer does capture a great deal about its brewer: loads of brash character and plenty of clever marketing. And you may be hard-pressed to find a flagship offering with better value, more distinctiveness and this level of decadent maltiness and brimming hoppiness. Love him or loath him, Arrogant Bastard is one cool bad-ass.

biegaman, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large shampoo like foamy head forms off the pour that is light tan in color. Some visible carbonation off the bottom, but color out of the bottle is a gorgeous brown/red almost ruby. Body is a clear dark red almost ruby but darker brown. real nice color.

Bouquet is a real big hoppy floral sense it seems. Very garden smelling. Not so much malt on this it seems.

Taste is thick and spiced hop but a big body that mutes the bitterness. A little resiny a bit getting into oil/pine feeling.

Overall fairly solid, but I think there's other bastards for stone that I would have and prefer.

smakawhat, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

LXIXME, Oct 24, 2013
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,657 ratings.