Arrogant Bastard Ale
Arrogant Consortia

Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #17
Ranked #1,805
4.18 | pDev: 12.44%
Arrogant Consortia
California, United States
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale
Notes: 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!
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Reviews: 3,172 | Ratings: 11,002 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Durandal_777:
Photo of Durandal_777
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a silk screen painted label of the "Stone Brewing Gargoyle" which wards off impurities that would otherwise taint the sanctity of the brew. Though this gargoyle is a bit different ... he has an arrogant look to him, basically saying you are not worthy of this brew. The back of the label is freagin' halarious! More arrogance, teasing. No, double dog daring you to try the beer.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown in colour with an appealing off-white lace. Really frothy, sticky and retains remarkably well.

Smell: Coarse hop are all over the nose, as are toasted grains, fruity esters and alcohol. Very aromatic.

Taste: Medium bodied, yet rich, full and complex. Smooth, especially as it warms. Big malty sweetness with caramel, chocolate and toasted/roasted flavours. Alcohol prickliness teases the palate then the brew kicks its ass with an assertive hop profile. It's raw, coarse, a bit prickly itself, mildly rind-like. Helps to balance the huge malt flavours. Finishes with a lingering sweetness, caramel, roasted coffee. A bit grain/dry too.

Notes: Hugely complex. Its arrogance is indeed correct. As stated on the label, if you do not have the "taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth" then you may not like it. Or rather, go drink your safe beer wimp. It's rather aggressive, but oh so damn good (in an evil, not worthy way). Just beware before you drink. This beer is not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with medium sticky head,aroma is somewhat hoppy and maybe a little orange-like.Taste is pretty hoppy and zesty to begin with,with some nutty tones as well as caramel tones on the palate.Wow this is a complex brew,have heard alot of stuff about this one,now I know why.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Okay, you Arrogant Bastard, it's time to get served.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous copper/brown into a tulip glass. A nice, foamy tan head with decent lacing adorns the crown of the glass.

Aroma: Strong earth tones. A pungent smell, almost like being in a cavern. And there's a cedar-like, forest quality to it as well.

Taste: I was expecting to get knocked on my backside by the hops, but that didn't happen. Instead, the complexity of the flavors slowly rolled over me like a tide. This is a very well-balanced ale. Again, there's that earthy taste to it, along with a gentle carbonation that tickles the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and bitter on the back end, but not overly so. A nice, almost sandy tingle all the way through.

Overall: "Complex" is generally a word bereft of true meaning, but if you want to get an idea what beer drinkers mean when they say it's "complex," then drink this. The tongue-in-cheek reference to being unworthy because you lack the sophistication to truly appreciate this beer actually comes through. I like it. I am very impressed.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Stone beer (IPA) was quite an experience, so I'm approaching Arrogant Bastard Ale with a great deal of anticipation and some pretty high hopes. The label attempts to frighten me off, but fails.

Dark coppery orange with a pale toffee-colored crown. The beer looks slightly menacing, if that's possible. I think I hear an intermittent growling sound, but decide that it must be my imagination. The head is not as generous as it might be (ultimately a barely-covering film), but does leave behind some nice, dense sheets of lace. If my first two are anything to go by, Stone beers are uniformly gorgeous in the glass!

The aroma is interesting. I can't say that I've smelled a beer quite like it before. It's a sort of sweet, caramel-like, roasted maltiness infused with citrus zest. If this beer smells like it tastes, I'm in for a real treat. Arrogant Bastard is not called a strong/old ale for nothing.

The flavor is strong, assertive, aggressive and in-your-face. The label does not lie. I find myself sipping this beast, not because of the alcoholic strength (a relatively tame 7.2%), but from the sheer taste bud swamping, gustatory overload. If it intensifies as it warms, my tongue may throw up the white flag.

Citrus fruity hops are on full display. However, because there's such a huge, caramel-like, toasted maltiness, they aren't as upfront as in the IPA. Malt-hop balance is achieved... a remarkable feat since each one threatens to crush its side of the overburdened scales. Wow! Boatloads of malt and hops slammed together, yet coerced into a unified whole.

Stone has impressed the hell out of me again. While I don't believe that it rises to the heights of their beloved (in my case) IPA, I can recognize Arrogant Bastard Ale as yet another superb example of this brewery's brilliance. Am I worthy? Barely. Just barely.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: February 6, 2015... GLASSWARE: HopDevil nonick... OCCASION: Cavs going for thirteen in a row--tying a franchise record?... APPEARANCE: serious dark brown body with steady effervescence; thick as snow, creamy, chunky off-white head that craters and clings... AROMA: instant pineapple and peach erupt; earthier textures blanket the scent with caramel malts and some interesting yeasts... PALATE: a powerful, mouth-awakening grip that tingles the teeth to the ears; creamy, formidable, and crunchy--in other words, a balanced ale...TASTE: as expected, a brutal malt swamp that holds its ground against a hop-laden West Coast citrus pucker--quite agreeable in its arrogance; love the lingering bitterness on the tongue and teeth, even as the strength of the malt dissipates...OVERALL: an American classic that lives up to its hype again and again--attractive, strong, assertive, alcoholic, reasonably priced and available in bombers or sixes; a versatile and instant mood changer, despite the Cavs' losing...

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was surprised to read on the distinctively Stone Brewing bottle "Arrogant Bastard Brewing." Whatever the organizational structure, I've always enjoyed Stone for their aggressive and bold approach to brewing. I'm not always in the mood for a beer that takes itself so seriously, but this bomber of stiff brew hits the spot after a long week.

Iconic screen printed bottles are a nice touch. This beer pours an opaque dark red with lots of browns in my snifter. It takes some extra agitation to coax an off white head that fades to a thin bubbly slick. Not the prettiest beer, but it has a unique look.

Smells are hoppy and boozy. I'd never guess this is "only" 7.2 ABV. They say smell is the sense most linked to our memory, and this reminds me of some of the barley wines I've had. Flavored also remind me of a hoppy American style barley wine. Lots of malts that toe the line between caramel and dark roast with mostly citric, lemon-rind hops.

Feel is slick and full, with a long bitter finish. Not the kind of brew you forget what it tastes like after the last swig--the flavor sticks around a long time. For this reason it could easily overwhelm a food pairing.

Overall, I'm really enjoying the aggression because I drank it when I knew it's what I wanted. Very well crafted and a break from the norm.

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Photo of justme
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hanafin's New London. On a cold night after a long day at work, this hit the spot. Nice head from the pour. Enough carbonation to keep my interest. A dark, rich full flavored beer. Hops not overly assertive, leaving room to savor the flavors.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber enjoyed in a Lagunitas mason jar glass. The label is frankly awesome, "yellow beer drinker" insulting arrogance at its finest. The beer is a murky opaque reddish brown with a comfortable two fingers of notably dark yellow-tan creamy head. Makes me think smoky bar room. Aroma is well-toasted grains, resinous peppery and citrus rind hops, a whiff of raisins, fruity pipe tobacco, aromatic alcohol. Somehow strikes dark/malty and fresh/fruity chords at the same time. The palate starts with bitter spicy hops, some grapefruit peel and flower water, and quickly transitions to nutty toasted malts surprising devoid of toffee or caramel flavors (although these are down there in the mix). A grainy bitterness like burnt Ovaltine and graham crackers coupled with hints of chocolate and walnut. Ample alcohol flavor but this is skillfully done by design. I am getting some peach and more floral notes late. Perhaps a little coffee. Could be the most adept use of fusel alcohols I've yet to sample. Producing a nice warmth about two-thirds through but no (or little) hop burn. Despite these big flavors, the brew is silky smooth yet still rather thick. Caresses the palate. The heavy malts persist all the way through into the finish, which seems astonishingly dry for such a malty brew. The hops are the coda as well as the intro. Has to be experienced to be believed and obviously I'd snag any variants that should enter this still nascent but fortunately growing craft beer market. A near religious experience, on par with Ruination or nearly so.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.53/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a dark copper color with deep brown hues noted as is clear but it looks chill hazed straight out of the can. The head is caramel eggshell color in hue and the head starts about one finger in thickness, eventually settling down to a thick-ish film over the brew. The head is rather good, showcasing artwork that looks mountain like, and the carbonation is difficult to see, but with some close scrutiny, I see tight, lumbering columns of foam trickling to the top of the liquid.

S- This has characters of brown sugar, caramel and dark toffee, slight warm spice and molasses malt sweetness right up front, with balancing notes of fresh hop cones, slightly Earthy spices such as black pepper and thyme, and a raw grainy farmhouse quality. Alcohol tinges hit my nostrils with a slight ting but nothing to embarrass the brew. Rather nice overall!

T- This is intense overall, and I'm not sure what everybody is so enamored about to be honest. There is a huge blast of bitter hop immediately followed by big metallic astringency that hits all points of the palate, especially the back of the tongue. If I try really hard, I get some sort of malt character, caramel and not much else really....I find the alcohol content overbearing in this one as well......the bitterness lingers much too long and simply put it is rather off putting.

M/O- This has a medium body, full flavored with booze and hops and is a 'tad' over carbonated. I don't think this is very drinkable and I'm not on the bandwagon....sorry. I will pass on this in the future and think too much effort was put on the 'arrogance'.....I think the brewery was too full of themselves on this one.

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Photo of Steve_B
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Probably my favorite beer. Not an IPA, not a brown ale, not really a strong ale. Just a blend of all of them. Perfect blend of hops and malt, dark but not stout, strong but not too strong.

If I had to drink one beer only for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Seems like one of those "either love it or you hate it" sort of beers. I'm okay with that - you don't have to love it, but I do.

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Photo of GrumD
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Confuses the hell out of me but in the end it is a winner. The appearance is a lovely reddish hue with a thickish head that soon thins out, leaving reasonable lacing in its wake. The aroma hints at a US IPA and a UK strong ale and the taste delivers both at first. However, the hops then kick in and crank the beer up to a higher level. The finish is wonderful, with sweetness and resin lurking on the tongue.

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Photo of JerryG123
2.4/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Extremely over powered with hops and herbs. Arrogant is exactly what it is, to the point of disgust. I'm a New Mexican Cumbre or even Santa Fe brewing have better more well rounded beers. This is just in your FUCKING face. If you don't want to waste your time or money go with any Sierra brew.

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Photo of Bill_Murray
1.54/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So they said on the label that I probably would not like that beer, and man were they right. Poured from the bottle into a glass. Here's what I got out of it before the drain pour.

A- looks a reddish copper color, decent head, not bad

S- Smells like the same piney crap that is all the rage; smells like the reason I avoid IPAs

T--A lot going on. Pine up front, decent in the middle and a crappy grapefruit after taste that makes me want to stop and brush my teeth rather than take another sip

M- Taste so bad, I couldn't focus on mouthfeel

O- Interesting bottle, it worked well enough to get me to buy it. Product sucked.

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Photo of Beerbiznitch
2.38/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Geeeeaayahhhh! Taste worse than azz and I've had my tongue in a few. Like drinking a beer that someone flicked their ashes in. F this shatola. Had to pour mine out. Boyfriend said I couldn't type on my phone til I finished it. But I swallow, so he gave me my phone back. This beer tastes like someone dumped some hair spray in it. I mean really why would anyone subject themselves to this. This is the worst! No enjoyable which sucks because it looks and smells great and I wanted to get laid.

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Photo of Kurpius
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted really good, no harsh aftertaste, poured nice with a finger and half head, nice aroma. Had one bottle and wish i had a couple more....highly recommend this California beer and will be enjoying another very soon. Very filling beer as well and i think it would go great with a backyard bbq

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

yes! this is the reason i came back to the states for a visit!

dark, DARK amber, pretty gem-like clear despite the bottle conditioning. awesome head and lacing.

great citrusy, fruity, piney hop aroma, almost perfume-like. hint of toasted malts.

hearty, malty flavor, with a nice strong kick of hops. really well balanced and amazingly smooth. i just can't get enough of this!

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Photo of EMV
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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 eman1
1.31/5  rDev -68.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I think STONE is one of the finest breweries to come out of America PERIOD; all their Ipa servings are the beers to be judged against and their belgium/ipa is the tops. They have two beers that I can't figure out if people are on something when they drink them because they are just,,,argghh (cough, gag, cough, disgust) SICKENING and I think they must be a joke from the brewmaster. This is a wast of money and DISGUSTING. Horrid, I would drink a Bud light any day over this.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- Deep Crimson, Clear
S-Some spice, dark fruits
T-Man-o-man blast from the past. Hops, figs, Special B; this is great!
O- Yeehaw...this is the post-modern Red Ale that all others should look to for comparison....Man, just like 1999; but better now. Back then it was a harsh monster purchased at Chevron to just get messed up. Now, its a part of an AB gift pack and something to be treasured.

Last Words: This is the real deal. A all day.

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Photo of PuffySAJ
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Arrogant Bastard is not for your average beer drinker. It’s for the lover of beer. It’s for the one who’s pallet craves a strong, slightly sweet, full-flavor ale that goes down smooth with a awesome bitter finish. Slowly becoming my favorite brew!

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Photo of Trapperryan
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This ale is not a first time lets try a ipa if you've never had one before.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Arrogant Bastard pours a rich plumb color, with a thin slightly off-white head, which leaves behind a fancy ring of lace. It smells like dark fruit, with a little bit of nuttiness. It sure has a strong, bitter taste. A nutty mild flavor opens up before it finishes a bit fruity. The feel is rather pleasant. It feels strong and robust, and yet isn't harsh to drink. Overall, meh. I know this beer has a large following, but I'm not a fan. Sure, I'm glad I tried it, but the harsh bitter/hoppy taste really drives me away.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of chinchill
2.72/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I remember having this beer many years, before I started taking notes and entering reviews. I didn't like it then but was still surprised to find I don't like it now either. In general, I'm a big fan of Stone Brewing and my tastes have expanded to include many 'extreme' and big ales. This revisit started well enough, with an attractive red-amber ale topped by a small but durable tan head. The aroma was a slightly boozy mix of medium malt and herbal/earthy hops. The main impression made by the flavor is, unfortunately, the overly bitter aftertaste.

M: medium body and carbonation.

O: too challenging.

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Photo of KRussell
2.4/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unfortunately, I can't even review this beer now and the reasons are listed below.

I've been drinking this for years now. Every time I visit my local establishment which has had Arrogant Bastard since day 1, I get a draft glass of it. It used to be great but has suffered from inconsistencies over the last couple years. I had some today from a keg and it tasted more like an IPA than arrogant bastard. I've had some in the past that tasted more like a Yuengling. I thought maybe it was a keg issue so I grabbed some in a bottle and it tasted different in the bottle also.

I'm starting to think that the bourbon and oaked versions were just batches that didn't turn out right. Unfortunately, Stone has some work to do to get this beer consistent and tasking like it used to.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Arrogant Consortia
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 11002 ratings