Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Arrogant Consortia

Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-AgedArrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Strong Ale - American
Ranked #109
Ranked #14,965
3.91 | pDev: 10.49%
Arrogant Consortia
California, United States
Very Good
Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-AgedArrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: I awake from a slumber that’s been anything but peaceful. I feel stronger yet somehow more nimble and refined. I have been born anew and, in the process, anointed with vibrant, inspiring, previously unexperienced character, all while maintaining everything I am and have always been—bold, bullish, unadulterated, and yes, Arrogant. Are you Worthy of quaffing a beverage of this intensity, irreverence and quality craftsmanship? Not likely, but for those who “get it,” I know my time in this bourbon barrel has not been wasted. Cheers to you, enlightened imbiber. On second thought, cheers to me!
View: Beers
Reviews: 338 | Ratings: 1,511 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tbryan5:
Photo of tbryan5
tbryan5 from Louisiana

3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really excited to try this because arrogant bastard is a classic great beer. The barrel aged offering was not GREAT but it was PRETTY GOOD. Not as much oak as I wanted but still present and makes this a solid beer. Try it if you can.

Sep 22, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of cbutova
cbutova from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft at McLadden's, Northampton, MA.


A- Dark red body poured to a snifter from the tap. A one finger, foamy head builds up to a pinky height and has pretty good retention. Lacing begins with a big ring with webs and drizzle following.

S- Malty and oaky overall with both up there strength wise. Fresh light-medium oak with a bit of whiskey and vanilla sweets. Caramel malts with notes of toast, cereal, butter and raisin joining that.

T- Oak brings some more vanilla to the table here with a slight whiskey feel overall. Smoothed out barrel for sure that still brings the wood. Raisin, caramel, slight cocoa, toasted nuts and some dark fruits.

MF- Smooth and foamy body with a bit of a frothy consistency. Carbonation comes in at a medium overall level. Just a tad warm.

A good barrel that is woody but not like a 2x4, smooth yet fresh feeling oak. The essence of arrogance balances this out and overall its a smooth, flavorful beast.

Oct 28, 2014
Photo of Bdubz94
Bdubz94 from Wisconsin

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz cellar temp dated 2/10/17-- about 3 months-- poured into a snifter.

Leaves a mighty foamy 2-finger tan head. Pours a deep ruby color, completely transparent-- no haze at all. Very carbonated judging by the bubbles streaming up. Head sticks around for quite a while leaving thick lacing.

You can definitely smell the bourbon--vanilla, caramel, leather, and booze. Dark fruit--raisins, dates, and grapes. Some malts as well. All in all, a well rounded aroma with nothing standing out too much. Smells a bit like dark red.. A bit faint is my only complaint.

Taste has vanilla and bourbon, quite a bitter finish but without a hoppy pine taste--could be because this bottle is 3 months old.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and dry. Not too heavy.

Overall, I think the bourbon is added nicely here. It doesn't dominate but certainly stands at the front. Having never had a beer of this style before, I would compare it to a barrel aged barley wine with some Belgian Quad character (dark fruit). Definitely unique, definitely good, but definitely not my favorite. A bit more sweetness to balance out the bitter finish would have been appreciated.

May 06, 2017
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek from West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Deep ruby body slightly hazed big tan khaki head forms thick, luscious foam that dwindles slow. Fine speckled lacing is left behind easily in even format.

Aroma has big dark fruit plums, cherry notes with mild oak notes and big alcohol. Mild vanilla bourbon notes in the back end.

Flavor has creamy textures big dark fruit, leaves it's flavor on the palate plum, raisin, and dark alcohol soaked fruit...hints of bourbon and vanilla in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full to medium with even flowing carbonation the Bourbon barrel really mellows out the hops in the Arrogant Bastard...I'm impressed with that.

Overall, big beer that's grown on me since my first sip!

Nov 11, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

And as Stone Brewing Company continues to reinvent themselves, their middle-aged attitude gives them the strength to retire their infamous Oaked Bastard and to re-release it with the more charming, aggression and complexity of bourbon.

Both rugged and regal, the bastard pours deep mahogany with ribbons of dark garnet and lighter chestnut playing about center and the edges. Thick and moussey, the tall column of foam that builds is rich like lather as rich toasted malts and resinous hops both battle and embrace each other. As the first taste glides across the tongue, its deeply seared sweetness provides a nutty, toffee-like and caramelly tilt.

Unfolding upon the middle palate, the hops come charging with their quick rebuttal of white grapefruit peels, bitter orange and pine sap to the over-cooked caramel, peanut skin, and toasted pound cake flavors. Creamy and full, the sweetness is reluctant to trail off, but the growing hops begin to overtake the malt, turning decidedly grassy, stemmy and leafy and raw with freshly shaven pine.

Only in its slow retreat upon the finish does the finnesse of bourbon latch on; reining in the oaken caramels, vanillans and charred oak that's promised. The beer's quick stint in the barrels offer the beer a light tannin-rich balance of wood spice and light powdery action on the mouth. Just off of full, the ale finishes bitter-sweet and with the aggressive bitterness that a beer aptly named "Bourbon Bastard" deserves.

May 16, 2015
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

1.66/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ah, Stone Brewing (or, Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co., now, I guess) - one of the only outfits out there putting out bottles with both " Ale aged in bourbon barrels" and "Drink fresh" on the label. Masters of employing contradictory marketing fads on the same beer. A marketing company that happens to produce beer. Let's see what this bourbon barrel aged variant of one of the booziest messes I've ever tried has in store for me.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Elaborate screen print label with red and grey text. Pry-off crown cap. 12 fl oz. Cost was $3.99 at a Whole Paycheck in NYC.

8.10% ABV. "Aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels." "American strong ale" (per their website).

HEAD: Pours a little too much foam even with a gentle pour, suggesting overcarbonation. Khaki in colour, with a nice frothy consistency and plenty of creaminess and softness for an American strong ale (catch-all category that that's become...). Retains rather well (for ~7 minutes) given the ABV and bourbon barrel aging, leaving a nice thick coating of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Deep dark amber. Translucent and transparent, without any yeast/lees visible within.

In spite of its seeming overcarbonation, it's generally inviting. I note no unique or special attributes, but for a beer in a "style" without any rigid body colour specifications or other conventions for Stone/Arrogant to adhere to, it's appealing.

AROMA: Bourbon soaked dark fruit, caramel, sweet amber malts, caramelized dates, barrel sugar sweetness, raisin, brown sugar, beet sugar, cherry skin, faint oak, pie crust, plum, fig, prune, and still more amber malt sweetness. Rich and malty, with a moderately high sweetness.

Bourbon barrel aromatics are nice, with faint oak and bourbon-soaked fruit leading the way. Those hoping for toasted coconut, rich white oak, or vanilla/vanillin will be let down, but it's got a good basic bourbon barrel character judging by the aroma.

I do get some mild herbal hop aromatics, but it's hardly a hop-emphatic ale.

Suggests a warm but complex ale. Inviting, sure.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Ugh - stale cherry juice and prune juice give this a geriatric bend, evoking the kind of homeopathic juice blend one would expect a constipated grandmother to be downing at an Arizona retirement community. Disgustingly thick (on the open) to boot, hitting the palate with a slick oily gushed mouthfeel that doesn't let up - it's about as far away from refreshing as you can get in terms of texture. Syrupy yet medium-bodied, lacking the chewy texture that would play best with the sweet malt backbone.

Heavy-handed with its flavours, hitting hard on shallow yet bold flavours of dark fruit, sludgy amber malt sweetness, beet sugar, caramel, a metallic off-flavour, and a bourbon barrel character so generic it tastes artificial (as though Stone/Arrogant invented bourbon barrel extract and then put a few drops in each bottle prior to releasing this).

Though syrupy and thick up front, it's somehow also thin in the third act, hitting both terrible ends of the mouthfeel spectrum.

I don't know if words like "balance" or "harmony" even belong in a review of this ale, so I won't even go into how lackluster this is in terms of both. I'll give it this - it's complex (actually, complicated by be a more accurate descriptor) and it's bold.

Shockingly warm for a relatively moderate ABV of 8.10%, sitting uncomfortably in the stomach. Off-puttingly parchingly dry. For a beer marketed so heavily against "fizzy yellow stuff," this sure makes me want to reach for a bottle of some. I guess according to Stone's marketing, that makes me "unworthy" or whathaveyou...luckily other cheaper beers can be head in the same style that are just better outright.

OVERALL: I occasionally try Stone/Arrogant brewing beers hoping I'll suddenly see what everyone else seems to, but it's boozy messes like these (and overhopped bitter-bombs like Ruination) that keep me off the brewery for months until I again forget just how much Stone tends to irritate me. What I didn't count on was this beer's taste being more obnoxious than its loud marketing. A chore to drink, Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard is best left to this beer's core demographic: novices brand spanking new to craft beer who after one sip of this abruptly become blind adherents to Stone's carefully manufactured image of arrogant superiority.

I'd advise picking up a vastly superior (and much cheaper) beer in the American strong ale category (e.g. Lagunitas Brown Shugga); this is - to put it succinctly - pretty fucking horrid.

F (1.66) / AVOID

Mar 31, 2017
Photo of DMarlinJ
DMarlinJ from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice lasting head with great lacing. Dark golden caramel color. Definitely get the bourbon in smell and taste. Straight forward and we'll balanced, not overly complex but when you do it well enough it doesn't need extra to hide the flaws. Got better to the end great finish.

Apr 10, 2016
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle - this stuff is sold around here in six-packs, for north of 30 bucks, sheesh.

This beer pours a clear, bright dark (I know) ruby amber hue, with one meager finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some sloppy graffiti lace around the glass as it quickly subsides.

It smells of sweet, grainy caramel malt, toffee pudding, faint Kentucky barrel measures - ethereal oaken vanilla and lightly spicy rye, mostly - sugary citrus notes, black pepper, wet pine needles, and more leafy, grassy, and perfumed floral hops. The taste is bready, grainy, and doughy caramel malt, a very slight wooden acridity - one somehow separate from the muddled inherent vanilla and spice - indistinct, yet heady citrus rind bitters, a softening pine forest floor greenness, a touch of Mr. Clean, and more earthy, weedy, and grassy hops.

The bubbles are pretty solid in their supportive and playfully frothy tendencies, the body a so-so medium weight, the barrel effects unfortunately showing up here, rather than in other spots where they'd be more welcome. It finishes sweet, but in a well moderated sense, the usual big citrus and pine notes not letting this one get away from them, given the still underwhelming barrel character.

Overall, I have to judge this as what it purports to be - a Bourbon-aged brew. Doesn't matter that it tastes good (ok, it does, but that's just the base Arrogant Bastard lazily shining through). As for the woody notes - they're just too restrained, which isn't a particularly bad thing, but then why the hell am I picking this up over the regular offering then? Ponder that in yer rambling back label.

May 15, 2015
Photo of davidperez
davidperez from Mexico

4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter, it pours a ruby, very dark red with good clarity when seen against the light. Perhaps it was due to the glass, but the head dissipated quickly. The lacing is very good though.

There is a lot going on with the bouquet. Caramel, toffee, malty sweetness, slight cherry, a little boozy, a bit of citric hoppy tones, just a hint of vanilla, and I get an assertive aroma of leather coming from the bourbon barrel. Very complex, scrumptious.
I'm taking too long to take the first sip simply because I can't get enough of this bouquet.
I don't get why there are a lot of previous reviews complaining about the lack of smell, mine was very assertive. Did you guys use a snifter?

The sip didn't disappoint, at all.
The complexity remains, but the protagonists changed roles.
Upfront you get the vanilla and caramel, toffee, cherry. The hoppy bitterness with its piney citric notes start to come in just as the sweetness begins to fade, but the vanilla stands strong alongside the hops. The finish is bitter with decaying, almost non-present, citric piney notes, and the vanilla component, although subdued, walks alongside the bitterness in that long finish balancing with some sweetness. The last mouth sensation that prevails though, is that of strong bitterness coating your palate.
I though this beer would be much more unbalanced, but it was sweeter than expected. Medium to full body, smooth, perhaps even creamy.

A beer I loved, and from my experience, an underrated beer.

Feb 18, 2016
Photo of hardy008
hardy008 from Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany color, with a one finger beige head. The aroma has caramel, dark fruit, citrus, with lighter amounts of bourbon, oak, and coconut in the background. I was hoping the bourbon aroma would be stronger, but the aroma is still nice.

Tastes both sweet and bitter with caramel, dark fruit, grapefruit, grapefruit peeling, oak, and lighter amounts of coconut and bourbon. As with the aroma, I wish the bourbon would have been stronger.

On the light side of medium bodied, with low carbonation. Has a grapefruit peeling aftertaste. Still a good beer, but not as good as most of the other Arrogant Bastard beers. I think this beer will benefit from sitting in the basement to let some of the hoppiness fade, so the bourbon can be more easily detected.

Jul 07, 2015
Photo of Long813
Long813 from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 24, 2020
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I couldn’t fit these in my luggage on the way back from Denver, so I was delighted when they showed up in the Twin Cities. 12 oz. bottle with nice word play on the bottle; I give it a 4.25.

The pour is dark red, sparkling, clear, with plenty of head. The nose is strong apple cider, mulled with brown sugar; fruitier than actual fruit. There are some floral hops, but this is all about the fruit. Arrogant? No. Odd? I’d say.

Arrogant Bastard - Bourbon Barrel Aged could easily be confused for its namesake. Floral, bitter hops assail the palate immediately, aided & abetted by freshly milled wood slab drying everything out. Mid-palate is loose caramel strings, pine/citrus, light alcohol, cedar chest (without grandma’s 54 year old wedding dress), bit of copper piping. Barrel? I might be able to catch it on the flip side. Deep-space dry & a great sipper.

I’m torn between grading this straight-up & in comparison to what the (fine) original should taste like in a barrel. I suspect this beer never touched a barrel until it was bottled, & then they were stored in one. A wonderful base beer that didn’t gain much from the -bal treatment.

Dec 09, 2015
Photo of gentlystewed
gentlystewed from Georgia

4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The coppery plum colored body is topped with a thin lightly tan head.

Everything about the nose is subtle, nothing jumps out and grabs you. You have dark fruit, oak, and autumn leafs, with a decent bourbon wiff on the tailend.

The taste like the nose starts off rather subtle, but builds up to a strong finish. The flavors are smokey and roasty malt smothered in sour mash and that's what stands out the most. There are also some burnt toffee notes along with a touch of cigarette tobacco.

This beer is very smooth and drinkable and packs a satisfyingly bitter uppercut to the jaw.

Overall this might be my favorite Stone brew.

Oct 31, 2015
Photo of JeremyScott
JeremyScott from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.3%

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of bret717
bret717 from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 06, 2017
Photo of Hayes86
Hayes86 from Michigan

3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Mar 01, 2016
Photo of SovereignGood
SovereignGood from California

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, deep red with about a finger worth of head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Not much aroma besides some dark fruit and slight hops from the base beer with some vanilla and oak mixed in. Taste is very similar to the smell. A little disappointed, but it still is a decent beer.

Feb 21, 2016
Photo of fehrminator
fehrminator from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 21, 2015
Photo of afsdan
afsdan from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 26, 2015
Photo of michaelsmith11
michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nov 14, 2016
Photo of lochef81
lochef81 from Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mar 18, 2016
Photo of Ezvictor

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%

Nov 12, 2014
Photo of eng_lee
eng_lee from Singapore

3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sep 12, 2017
Photo of leroybrown10
leroybrown10 from Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Nov 21, 2014
Photo of cjohns73
cjohns73 from Delaware

3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, only 1.5 months old. Color is deep amber with a thin head; average bubble size; minimal lacing. Smell is bourbon and water, lots of water. The taste is pretty much bourbon and some maltiness. The barrel kills whatever there is of the original Bastard. Overly sweet on first blush, but mellows out as it goes along to a much drier beverage. Always glad I try something from Stone, but this isn't a winner for me.

Sep 07, 2015
Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Arrogant Consortia
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1511 ratings