Arrogant Bastard Ale | Arrogant Brewing

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,997 Reviews
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Arrogant Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
At Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co., 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!

Added by kbub6f on 11-15-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,997
Ratings:
10,393
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
22.78%
 
 
Wants:
441
Gots:
2,492
For Trade:
14
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Reviews: 2,997 | Ratings: 10,393
Photo of zshaft
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pours very dark brownish red with nice pillow t top head. lots of floaties in this so im assuming this is old. date confirms as I chk it. nose is some candy sweetness abd some nutty scents in there. taste is bready malt and biscut followed by a nice hop prescence of earty tones and some caramel mixed in there. finish is bitter and somewhat dry. mouthfeel is adequate for the style. overall I always like this beer but after numerous double bastard quaffings this falls much behind its bigger brother. while all the flavors are there they are more subtle than the double and to me not as satisfying. this is a good intro into strong ales and reccomend for those wanting to become worthy.

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Photo of CrashingConcord
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After paying to have an inanimate can chastise me, I don't regret the purchase. Pours deep red as the blood of countless enemies slain since this beverage first placed beclawed toe upon this earth. Smells is huge amounts of dark berry, rasp and black and the like, with a little bit of that oatmealy grist scent like walking by a brewery's mash tun early in the morning. Tastes like pepper and bread crust, the exact mouthful I would hope for when drinking a beer that claims to stand atop the peak of Ale Mountain. With an ABV that won't ruin the familiar craft beer drinker, I could see myself having more than one of these. Well done, you snarky, egotistical pint, you.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can poured into a Stone Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours rich mahogany reddish brown with a creamy khaki head that settles to a firm layer and leaves some thick lacing.

S: Toasty, nutty, bready, a little toffee sweetness, with a little grapefruit and pine.

T: Toasted malt, a bit nutty, sourdough, hops come in strong, lots of grapefruit zest and pith, pine, peppery, hints of dark fruit, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

M: A bit on the heavier end of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: An absolute monster of a beer that I've had countless times over the years, but somehow never reviewed until now. Pretty much my standard for American Strong Ales.

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Photo of moose1980
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, ruby-hued with a thick, light brown head that lasts. Aromas of dark breads, caramel, honey, and figs. Assertive bitterness upfront that leads to a bittersweet and slightly fruity, malty finish. The hop bitterness certainly makes itself known throughout the sip. Nice body with moderate carbonation. Overall, a classic, and rightfully so.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown colored pour, this one amped up the malt. Aroma drops lots of crystal malt and Chinook hops.

Taste is like a Bigfoot Ale light, its that big brawny brown hop monster. Definitely obliterates any fizzy yellow beers in its path. It kind of defies classification. Its definitely hopped like a double ipa, but the malt bill is somewhere between imperial brown ale/porter/barleywine. Its real malty, real hoppy, ain't no skimpin on ingredients here.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Good balance between malt and hops. Very bitter, spicy, citrusy, earthy. You also have some dark fruits and nuts. It's bold. It's boozy but it's quite drinkable

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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It's hard to believe, after over 7 years on this site, I never reviewed this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a dark chestnut color with ruby highlights and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, malts, light hops. Taste is malts, hops, pepper, dark fruits, light alcohol, not nearly as bitter as I expected. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good beer, but it didn't live up to the hype.

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Photo of 0_0
2.72/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L - Dark brownish, similar to a coke
S - hops
T - Bitter, hoppy, orange rind
F - Like they are all about hops
O - Not a bad beer but intensely hoppy, not exactly my cup of tea as i find this overpowers the beers other elements. Do like the blurb on the side. It is in fact an aggressive beer.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Keg, Small Bar, Bristol - Pours clear ruby red with a small tanned head. Smell - brown sugar, dark fruits, molasses. Taste - sweet, dark fruits, light citrus notes, strong surprising bitter finish. Many thanks to the person who bought this for me, strong solid old ale.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CAN (from Stone Berlin)
Bright chestnut with piles of creamy ecru foam. 4
Caramel snaps, chocolate-covered cherries, faint orange oil. 3.75
Toffee and candied apricot, some toast crust, maybe a speck of prune, then orange rind, resin, pine forest floor and a touch of honeysuckle with a scorching linger. 4
Salty, chewy, almost medium. 4

Jun 10 packaging date; four weeks in the can, so no excuses for hops fading - just seems like scant aroma additions to begin with. But, Lord, are there bittering additions. This lands firmly in the early 2000s “bitter is better” school of hop bombs; it actually comes across way hotter than the ABV because your taste buds are hyper-sensitized. It settles into itself, and reveals darker malt notes - a huge Premium Bitter or a less juicy American Amber, maybe - though in avoiding being overly sweet (a touch of chocolate rather than a ton of crystal?), it actually comes out a bit thin. Lagunitas does this kind of thing, but are a whole lot more fun with it. Still all about the naked IBUs, which just come across today as… unrefined.

A Gatling gun: deadly and dated. 4

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Too popular and available to go into too much detail about it. Suffice to say a strong brown ale, pours with a nice head. Taste is bitter (but not too) from hops that quickly turns into a caramel-y dark-fruity malty ale. Feel is less earthy/piney than their IPAs but has all the nuances of taste. I get citrus in among the malt, bitter, dry sweet/bitter aftertaste. Chewy feel, booze just enough to let you know to treat it with respect.

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

Look: Pretty, brown ale look. Didn't get a head on it or anything but zero care about that.
Nose: Malty. Not seriously getting any strong hop aroma. Reminds me of a brown ale.
Taste: Super bitter. Yet, not bitter like an IPA, it's more complex. You can pick out almost porter like dark malts and dried fruit in between the harsh bitterness.
Mouth: The hops linger on the tongue. I can't really get anything else from here.

Overall: This beer was a top 10 favorite of my fathers', and I was very excited to try the beer based on that alone. After seeing the brewery post "unworthy wednesdays" where they posted quotes of people who said AB was "too hoppy", I had to try it. Being an experienced IPA drinker, the bitterness wasn't a problem for me at all. Rather, the balance between the complex malt and chinook hops was welcoming. This would pair well with some fish tacos!

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

From XXXII. In english pint glass. After dinner. Malty, reminding me english ales, with a strong herbal bitterness that remains after the sip and give a moreish feeling. Hints of dark fruits

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Photo of DJBlunt
4.79/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 64oz Growler into Classic German Pilsner Glass. Pours a very nice copper/ reddish amber color. Nice tan head that leaves plenty of lacing. Taste is a good mix of hoppy/malt with a bit of peppery. Definitely notice the ABV in this brew. Overall, though this is a truly great beer.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured into a mug.

Clear reddish brown hue with very thick creamy and velvety tan head, the head has exceptional retention and just slowly subsides to everlasting foamy crown while yields plenty of refined yet sticky lacing along the glass-side.

Caramel, vanilla, roasted coffee bean, toasted dark bread, chocolate, sugar, faint honey, some fresh fruitiness , overall the aroma is complex with many layers yet not too sharp and quite aromatic.

Start with fruitiness that is reminiscent of dark fruits and citrus, roasted and toasted profiles reminding of burnt wood, smoky, coffee, and chocolate thereafter exhibit bringing a dryness and astringency for complexity sake. Hops also lend a touch of peppery in the middle where same time malts provide a big caramelized sweetness and breadiness to keep the tempo of flavor in balance. Persistent bitterness from hops dwells at the end also lingering as a long tail of pleasant aftertaste along with a toasted and roasted traits that come back to together dominate with hops at the ultimate point.

The body is medium with silky smooth mouthfeel and lively crisp carbonation sweeping through the palate, very dry finish.

This beer is aggressive, arrogant, complex, no compromise, yet very tasty and hard to resist. Am I worthy? I don’t know but the beer itself is more than worthy.

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Photo of Bisco42
3.41/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pretty meh for the style. I really prefer the Lagunitas version of an American strong Ale in the form of an Investigation Shut Down. I think that the hops have been muted, and the malt is killed. Stone seems to think this is the next best thing to sliced bread according to their description on the can, but I cannot agree. Although the biggest redeeming quality is 6 twelve oz cans for under $13, the flavor and overall enjoyability is lacking. Probably wouldn't purchase again. I am looking for so much more with this one!

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Photo of RickyS
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany beer, with little head living as a thin layer throughout the drinking. The aroma is rich but not extremely assertive. Caramel, malts, vanilla with some lingering spiciness. The taste is immediately dry and earthy with a long finish. Very pleasant lively carbonation. Good beer!

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Photo of LeRose
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the iconic gargoyle bottle into a tulip, this beer is a deep brown with a reddish hue. The head was ample - at least a couple fingers - tan color and persistent until well after the last swallow. Great cling to the glass. This is a visually appealing beer on all accounts - beauty in a glass.

Aroma - maybe I expected more, but it seemed a bit weak. Vaguely citrus/resin, sweet and bread-like, brown sugar leaning toward molasses.

The taste is the "ah ha" moment. Starts off pretty sweet with the malt dominating, then a smooth transition to a hoppy character followed by a retrained yet ample kick of bitter. The taste washes over the tongue in a continuum. I get some grapefruit peel, and an almost cedar-like resin quality that washes over the malt sweetness. Maybe a little nutty flavor chips in. As it warmed, the beer became a little more flat for me - the profile sort of mellowed out and the flavors seemed more muted. Maybe let it get a bit too warm though.

Feel - creamy, dry, a bit sticky on the lips. Carbonation moderate, medium bodied. Not a palate shredder.

The beer is beautiful to look at, I felt a slight letdown with the smell, but the taste is so interesting in how it evolves. Nothing dominates, the different flavors take turns - hard to describe, but there is definitely an initial, middle, and late taste to this beer with no arguments - just substitution. The bitter lingers a bit, but that just invites me back for another round of sweetness on the sip. I guess it has to be called something, so an American String Ale is as good as anything - certainly broad enough to capture what's going down with the beer.

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Photo of Riff
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz tallboy can into a tulip glass. Color is dark brown, like a cola. Thick, off-white foamy head several fingers thick. Aroma is heavy on the malt. Taste is bitter, a little hops leading right into a heavy dose of malt flavor. Finish is dry and bitter, lingers for a bit at first but as you work your way through it doesn't seem to stay too long. Overall a nice ale that seems to well deserve it's reputation as one of the better ales out there.

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Photo of PearlJam420
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a glass. Bottled on 03/03/16. Simply outstanding!

What else can you say about Arrogant Bastard? It's a beer I always come back to because it's delicious every time. Looks good, smells good, you'd step over your own mother just to get one....

If you see this on the shelf, buy it. You will not be disappointed.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid, solid stuff, not near as menacing as they'd lead you to believe, instead this in the hoppy [darker] red [IPA]. Nose of dark malt, almost a hint of chocolate, some earthy hops too, not a huge presence of dry hopping or anything. Palate is a nice mix of bitter earthy + grapefruit hops alongside some sweetened malt, really pleasing bitterness levels, maybe a little astringent but not necessarily to its detriment. I dunno, this is one of those brews that just work, and its continued to place in the craft beer pantheon, now 20 years running, is deserved indeed.

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Photo of BlakeA85
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 24 oz bottle into standard nonic pint glass, Pours a beautiful brown with slight amber streaks with a really nice foamy tan head.
Smell is a wonderful mix of strong hops and malt, a perfect balance.
Taste is just as good as the smell, with a strong hop at the beginning with a nice tasty malt middle and a small bitter dry finish. Absolutely wonderful.
Mouthfeel can be a little bit soapy but other than that it goes down smooth. You can kinda feel the booze with some sips if you leave it in your mouth a little longer.
Overall, This is definitely one of the best beers I've had so far. It's worthy of the hype, and I will have this again.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fascinating complex beer. Beautiful brown, darker than an English brown. Light off white head. Subtle smell with earthy undertones. The taste has a really cool maple syrup finish and the hops is relatively subtle.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle served cold into a tulip. Enjoy By 4/14/16, so I'm a little late to this party, but fairly certain that this will still be good. This is one of those American classics... a beer that has been around for a long while (in craft terms anyway) and while others may have surpassed it, it is still brilliant and a beer that every advocate should venture a try.

Appearance - Dark and ominous, a muddy brown color is poured with mahogany and red highlights depending on the light. A small half finger of yellowy-tan head, which recedes fairly quickly leaving a little puff of film on top. Did I mention hazy?

Smell - This is well... different. Some fairly potent hop presence, although more of the earthy and pine resin variety, but there's also a floral component too. On the malt side, the grain is hidden and there's a little booze but i'm also picking up molasses, making this sort of like a hoppy-doppelbock but an ale instead of lager. Hence the American Strong Ale classification.

Taste - Initially quite bitter with and earthy and grapefruit rind type of flavor, just plain bitter. Some middling sweetness momentarily than a rush of booze kicks in. This definitely feels like a stronger beer. Finishes with a little black coffee and more earthy bitterness. Interesting and not quite my pint of beer, but unique in that I can't say I've had anything quite like this. Leather possibly?

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is modest, body is reasonably light all things considered with just enough stickiness to make it interesting. I like it a lot.

Overall - Arrogant Bastard Ale lives up to its reputation as one fine tasty beer, that's got a few things going on that don't normally seem to work (molasses and earthy hops), but they come together to form a unique beer that is quite enjoyable. Would love to procure a fresher sample for comparative purposes, but if it's this good after 4 months, it certainly has eared it's reputation. A must-try for any beer advocate.

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Photo of akolb
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: malt, caramel, plum, raisin, sweet, bread, spice. Surprisingly subdued.
Taste: Very nice caramel and bread. Substantial but not overpowering bitterness. Earthy, rich, and bitter. Taste is much more powerful than aroma suggests.
Appearance: Dark brown with an epic head.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Arrogant Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 2,997 ratings.
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