Arrogant Bastard Ale | Arrogant Consortia

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale
10,878 Ratings
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Brewed by:
Arrogant Consortia
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!

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Ratings: 10,878 |  Reviews: 3,130
Reviews by masterbruewer:
Photo of masterbruewer
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a reddish brown with steady carbonation. Thick off-white head, good lacing.

The smell is sweet malt with a hint of grape Kool-Aid. A little creamy smell as well.

The taste starts with a hop wallop and malt slap. Then other flavors waft in and out. A carmel cream flavor, grape Kool-Aid, and chocolate liquer, are floating about in there.

The mouthfeel is a little harsh. A strong alcohol taste and a good hop bite. This one's not for everybody.

Drinkability is low, by design I think, there's a lot to this beer, and most of it is in your face.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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 -4.1%
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 dacrza1
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
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 +4.8%
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 Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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 +1.9%
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 justme
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 ChrisCage
2.53/5  rDev -39%
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 +15.2%
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 CalgaryFMC
4.19/5  rDev +1%
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 Motleydrunk56
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

12oz bottle poured into a 20oz Firestone glass.What can you say just another solid beer from stone.Great beer that is easy to find here in California.7.2 ABV will get the job done nicely.If you have not tried this give it a try.I think you will like it.

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Photo of chinchill
2.72/5  rDev -34.5%
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 mlockman
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewing this retrospectively, I'm inclined to say it wasn't bad. Definitely palatable, but not anything I'd be rushing to purchase.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard Ale brewed by Arrogant Brewing, with an ABV of 7.20% This American Strong Ale pours out a deep, deep golden amber color with a nice off white head. There is a lot of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich, with grassy grains and malts. You also pick up a nice mild hop bitterness, in the smell. Now for the taste, it is bold with flavors. You first pick up on a hop bitterness, then grassy grains and malts. The hop bitterness is a nice note to this brew. There is a lot going on in Arrogant Bastard Ale, it is bold with flavors. The body of this brew is a medium to heavy, but not to heavy. This Strong Ale has a lot going on in it, there is a real nice balance to it. There is nothing overpowering about this brew. It is really hard to pick up on 7.20% ABV in this brew, it is just that smooth. The mouth feel of Arrogant Bastard Ale is Bold, Hops, Clean, Smooth, and Refreshing. Overall I'm giving Arrogant Bastard Ale a 4.50 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the chance to. If you are looking for a bold tasting brew look this brew up. Arrogant Brewing, did a real super nice job with this one.

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Photo of Solo007
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 fl oz can into my old reliable tulip glass (sniffer).

Those Arrogant bastards know how to brew an excellent beer. And one of the very best strong ales anywhere is their Arrogant Bastard Ale. The Bastard pours a thick head of tan that resembles light caramel that stays around a long time - really nice. Colour is a dark caramel like a well-aged congnac only hazier. Nose has (again) caramel, burnt sugar. The smokiness hides some of the floral notes, but it's there. And I detect a little bit of apple (granny smith?) that gives it a tiny bit of cider. Taste strong malt representation: It's smokey, dark caramel covered on a biscuit. Not much of a coffee nor chocolate as one might expect from a beer like this, but there is something of the two that was roasted in the process. Hops of floral and pine notes, woodsy like autumn. When drinking it starts off refined with a good carbonation to remind you that this is not a brandy, it's a strong American ale; It remains strong upon the finish, but gives the drinker a bit of a break by going down easier. OK, now I detect some chocolate on the finish. Man, this beer is so good! this ain't no Budweiser, this ain't no Coors, this ain't no fooling around. This is what beer ought to be and for people who know and appreciate drinking the good stuff. Highly recommended.

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Photo of PuffySAJ
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Sak3
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: This gets a 5 because I cannot be asked to always grab a glass to see the color of the beer... Do we really care what the color of a beer is? No.

Smell: I don't need to say anything other then hops with some fruits to make an excellent aroma.

Taste: A bitter taste that left my mouth feeling a caramel effect.

Feel: Over the course of this drink I feel that it's a smooth drink that goes down the hatch quickly and that this drink is worth your interest!

Overall: I'd trade or buy more of this beverage with a smile on my face.

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Photo of brewerang
1.26/5  rDev -69.6%
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 Harrison8
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
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 brettski66
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll have you know, Mr. Gargoyle, I AM WORTHY and I love your Beer. Top 10 on my personal list - best beer by Stone in my opinion.

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Photo of JerryG123
2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
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 dhd1491
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear brown/red with a medium head of tan foam. Not much aroma; not particularly enticing. Taste is complex. Flinty copper metalic up front morphs into bitter hoppiness which remains on tongue. A bit of toasty, buttery malt. Alcohol is not pronounced in taste, though ABV of 7.2% A hint of smoke. Low carbonation. A bit Guinness-like, but more intense flavors. The prominent take-away is the acerbic hop bitter aftertaste. 16 oz can lasts a bit longer, obviously. Good beer to have when you're having only one.

Note: I tend toward the more citrusy, floral, refreshing qualities, like in a good IPA, so maybe I'm a little harsh on beers like strong ales. Arrogant Bastard is a good beer, just not my style.

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Photo of GrumD
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
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 creepinjeeper
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber (from the Bastard Box) poured into nonic pint.
Look - Deep, rich reddish brown. Poured vigourously. Head that wouldn't go away. Lacing all down the glass.
Smell - Some breadiness, molasses, hops. Caramel sugars.
Taste - Wow! Malt to hops ... neither overpowers. Sweet fades to bitter.
Feel - Rich and creamy. Coats the tongue to let the hop finish linger.
Overall - I finally get the fuss. This is a huge beer and it does not disappoint. Puts the "strong" in strong ale. Gives you everything you want in a beer.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Arrogant Consortia
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 10,878 ratings