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Arrogant Bastard Ale | Arrogant Brewing

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3,012 Reviews
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Brewed by:
Arrogant Brewing
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 3,012 | Ratings: 10,458
Photo of EMV
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had many, many, many times... this particular brew was poured from a 16 oz can into a pint glass.

L: Pours a clear reddish copper color. 2.5 fingers of foamy off-white head. Gorgeous lacing.

S: Rich malts and vicious hops. Grains.. .a bit of booze.

T/F: Rich and malty up front... sharp... caramel and grains which gives way to some palate wrecking hop bitterness on the back end. Sticky and carbonated in mouthfeel... and surprisingly smooth. Warming but it hides the ABV. The finish is dry.

O: A classic... and just one of the finest beers available. This is one that changed how I both look at/drink beer. Still amazing today, and as the can says... not at all New and impossible to Improve. Arrogant... and deservedly so.

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Photo of tigreblanc
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

one of my all time favorites. i tried the 22oz bottle and the 16oz cans and i have a hard time feeling a difference. love this and cant find enough of it.

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Photo of Brewxer
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I didn't like this. It's not awful, but it is possibly the least balanced beer I have ever had or can imagine. Really not sure I understand the love of this in any way. It's like very beer style all packed into one... when would you ever want this?

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

Red-brown color with beige head. There are powerful smells of burnt caramel, candied orange, vanilla, pepper and spice. Very nuanced flavor. The hops are strong, with intense, bitter grapefruit flavor, which is backed up by a smooth caramel taste from the malts. The aftertaste brings back some of the sweeter dimensions of the scent while maintaining a hot bitterness.

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Photo of janubio
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On can. Pours an amber-reddish colour, with a big off white head. Medium retention and a good lace. Aroma of wood, caramel, pine, spices, quinine, hops. Medium body, with a great carbonation and astringent texture. Taste of caramel, spices, herbs, resines, quinine. AStringent finish. Aggresive and great beer.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Consumed a month ago from a can shipped with love from parts unknown -- took detailed notes, but delayed getting this review posted. Still had to do so, because it was just that damn good...

Into an IPA glass, the bastard poured almost clear cordovan with very thick creamy and supple tan head. Persists long with sticky lacing that enhances the experience nearly to the bottom of a glass nursed for nearly 30 minutes.

In the nose, there's vanilla with a drizzle of butterscotch fairly early. It's sweet and then starts to turn to fruitiness, but never quite unleashing the citrus, pineapple, or evergreen of big hops. You can tell they are there, and a bit of orange blossom squeezes through to make that clear. But the aroma is complex with many layers, not allowing any essence to dominate. It's remarkable, but somehow a tiny bit of a letdown at the same time.

Over the teeth, the first sensation is of fruit; then almost scorched earth and toasted campfire coffee usher in a dry midsection that allows the hops to emerge. It's just bready enough to contain the bitterness and let you chew the grapefruit pith and pineapple that are stained with dark berry and kissed with white pepper. Persistent bitterness from hops dwells to give it a different sort of length. Too bitter for some, it seems, but I think it's malty backbone contains the bittering to make it absolutely compelling to taste more.

The body is just above medium with silky smooth mouthfeel and lively crisp carbonation. It tastes juicier than it feels in a way that is unexpected. Not problematic, but somehow I thought more squishy oils were coming, and then the soul of a Belgian poured out of this American Strong Man... Perhaps he really is a bastard.

Certainly, he is entitled to be arrogant. Overall, the blend of creativity and classic craftsmanship is superior.I can't believe it took me this long to try such a well-known brew. Now I'm begging for more.

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Photo of Peterock27
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Game changer! Like nothing you've ever had before...and for as long as this beer has been out, ain't nothing comparable in style. This is a true stone classic! One of the reasons I love stone brewing...nuff said

I've had many of these beers before but chose to review a can from Stone's Berlin Brewery that I recently visited.

0.5 l can poured into a snifter.
Pours a beautiful dark maroon (almost a purplish brown color).
Distinct smell, very complex and hard to explain, almost like funky cough medicine.
Taste is very malty with a hoppy bitterness that's unlike an IPA, complex flavors as you let the beer warm up, very enjoyable.
Overall this has always been a go to beer for me. I like to sneak this in my rotation once every 3-4 months to change things up a bit. Long live the bastard!

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

L: Pours out a ruddy amber color that looks a bit darker in the glass. Clear, with plenty of rising carbonation, topped by a big, pillowy beige head with near-perfect retention, and tons of lacing.

S: Aggressive piney hops; pine resin, earth, some herbaceous spices like clove and fennel. Backed by a massive malt backbone that is equal parts sweet and roasty. There's a sugar, caramel/toffee candy side, and then an acrid, baking cocoa and black coffee side.

T: The sweetness hits you upfront. You get lots of a caramel and toffee, which then transitions down the roasty side of malt spectrum. You get dark chocolate and dark roast coffee then. As soon as the roast hits you, so do the hops, bringing earthiness, massive pine, and clove/fennel. The malts disappear completely into a dry finish, bringing an aftertaste that is exceedingly bitter, just lingering forever of intense hoppiness. The pine sap, earth, clove/fennel, and even coffee roast lingers forever on your palate, punishing you for many long minutes until the next sip.

F: Medium-bodied, well-carbonated, full and smooth on the palate with gratuitous amounts of malt sugars and absurd hop oils.

O: Not quite an IPA, not quite a barleywine, not quite an amber ale, this unique beer still stands for what it is: an ARROGANT BASTARD ale. Not for the faint of heart or palate.

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Photo of TerryW
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big, big malt and a generous hop finish. Pretty nicely balanced and does a good job of accommodating 7.2% alcohol. Drinkable, but not for the faint of heart either.

Pours the colour of dark tea with a reddish hue. Hazy. Moderate head settles to a long lived full film and gives up a steady run of spidery lace throughout. Lots of malt up front. Burned toffee, dark fruit. Sweetness is immediately offset by a pretty substantial dose of bitter and drying hops. The difference between the front end and the back end of the brew is striking. Lingering fruit. Yup, lots of alcohol, but not at all boozy, so prepare to have this sneak up on you.

Tasty, but not for the faint of heart. This is a beer with a rather big presence.

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Photo of Vader444
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour into 2/3 pint glass.

Lovely boozy, malty, chocolatey, fruity awesomeness. This is a hard hitting sipper of a beer. There really is nothing not to like. It is pretty rich stuff though so one is enough for me.


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

Large 1 pt 6 oz bottle. Pours a deep reddish brown with medium head. Smells like burnt fruit and molasses. Taste is malt with burnt fruit, molasses and caramel with hints of citrus and pine, almost IPA-like with stronger hops and some hints of a heavier English brown ale. Very smooth aftertaste, bitter but not overpowering. This went down well with a salty hot pretzel. Definitely lives up to the hype.

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Photo of RonArtest
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I just keep on buying this stuff so it must be good. It tastes like every beer ever made mixed together. I only buy one at a time. I don't want another, just that first one. It's strong and heavy and not for everybody, but worth a try because if your like me, it will be one of your favorites.

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Photo of brewerang
1.26/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer tastes like a bad home brew. Unbalanced, overly bitter, and nasty tasting in general. Just because you throw a bunch of ingredients into a beer doesn't make it good. I like hoppy beers, but there are too many bittering hops here. The burnt hop aroma is unappealing. If there is anything wrong with the American craft beer industry, this is it.

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Photo of Stooven
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Something's changed? This sample was a 16oz can purchased as a single in Kenosha, WI, within the drinkable period since canning. What the smell portends as its customarily solid, Redwood-like IPA loses its resonance almost immediately and unleashes instant cottonmouth. Better as it warms, but astringency prevails. The feel, follows suit. Perhaps not a good can, but almost certainly not as good a beer as when it flew under the Stone banner and was bottled. As a Midwest-based Stone fan who also recently enjoyed a 12-sampler featuring Ruination, IPA, and Citrusy Wit, and one who previously ranked this beer as among his top 5 overall, I am disappointed and would need a great pour at a bar to convince me to try this version again.

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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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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Arrogant Brewing
4.17 out of 5 based on 10,458 ratings.
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