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Southern Charred - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Southern CharredSouthern Charred

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 382
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 32.94%
Wants: 87
Gots: 111 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SuperbikeShaun on 11-08-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

2012 Double Bastard Ale aged over a year in three types of barrels, including virgin charred American oak.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 382
Photo of jdprmd
2.7/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

A - Generous pour into an oversized snifter a what/tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Taffy, butterscotch oak and bittering hops… no smell of bourbon…but looking forward to this.

T - It hits your tongue and I got excited, toffy characteristics of a true old ale… then it hits you. EHH this is almost more of a mess that double bastard. The faded hops and mix of barrel aging make this taste like a bitter toffy shit storm. This seems to be very acidic from the various barrels it was aged in adding to the bitter taste

M - With each sip I cringe more but still a balanced mouthfeel

O - I was expecting great things from this beer… maybe I drank it to late or to early, either way right now its a drain pour.

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Photo of spoony
3.07/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From a 500 ml bottle (bottled October 2013) into a tulip. Reviewed from notes dated June 20, 2014.

A-The cork required pliers to remove....Anyway, the brew is murky and tea-colored with a short, tan head. The foam dissipates quickly and leaves a little ring round the glass. The lacing is decent at first and then fades.

S-The aroma is heavy on the oak barrel...like I'm in a sawmill heavy on the oak. I sniff dry tannins from the wood and beneath the lumber I get some caramel, heat, vanilla, some dried fruit, more heat, alcohol, burnt sugar, and more alcohol heat. Seriously, I understand that this beer is supposed to be intense, but the alcohol and wood here are on another level.

T-The taste is similarly hot and heavy. I detect alcohol, caramel, prune, spice, alcohol, and oak barrel. The aftertaste is sort-of vegetal and rough, and suggest hops in the vaguest sense. This beer tastes like what I imagine would happen if Stone messed up on a batch of Oaked Arrogant Bastard. Not impressed.

M-The feel soft, but slightly gritty on the palate. Heft is medium.

O-My notes say "Ugh all around." I understand the desire to push boundaries, but this beer did not work for me. It is unbalanced, too hot, and generally undesirable. I guess they can't all be winners.

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Photo of cvm4
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep, bold copper in color with a light tan head.

S - Oak, caramel, burnt sugar, char, vanilla and faint bourbon.

T - The taste pretty much matches the nose. The only difference is the presence of dark fruits.

M - Full bodied and medium carbonation. Heavy mouthfeel, almost syrupy.

O - I thought it was good, an interesting take. But, not sure I agree with the high rating. May'be the burnt aspect turns me off to it? Not sure really.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a globe.

A: Murky mahogany brown color. A quarter inch of tan head retains well. Lacing remains in the form of a dappled pattern.

S: Toasted crust, burnt caramel, dose of brown cocoa. Fig and booze-soaked golden raisin. Oily hops. Stiff bourbon aroma. Aggressive woody smells. Lots of char, strong oaky pull with a lot of woody vanilla, seasoned oak. Peppery.

T: Toasted crust and a generous helping of cocoa. Traces of milk chocolate. Burnt sugar and chewy caramel. Toffee. Slight interjection of earthy and spicy hops. Peppery. Hints of figs and booze-soaked golden raisins. Bourbon comes on strong middle to end. Lots of barrel character. Loads of barrel char. Very oaky and drying at the end. Dry woody vanilla. Oak dominates the finish.

M: Thick bodied. Firm and round with a nice heft, though it stays silky smooth and glides over the tongue. Wood tannins become a bit of a distraction. Plenty of warming alcohol.

O: This is an all-out barrel blitz. It's the kind of uber-aggressive approach I would have expected from Stone. No punches are pulled. Truthfully the virgin oak barrel tastes get to be too much and fatigue the palate. The base beer, even as big and aggressive as it is, just barely hangs on by its fingertips as the woody onslaught threatens to send it spiraling out of control. This could really use a good chunk of cellar time, say a decade, to allow the wood tannins to mellow out. But rough as it is, I still found myself enjoying it. Then again, I tend to be a glutton for punishment when it comes to big barrel aged beers.

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Photo of macher0
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy dark amber with orangish tints on the extremes. Minimal head that retreats ti a fine bubble rim. The nose bursts with bourbon soaked prunes. The smell is quite complex: sweet dried prunes, plumes, oak, stale oranges and malts. The taste follows the nose, which doesn't always happen. Full body, low carb and as smooth as a ba dipa can be.

This was way talked up by my beer guys helper. I'm not disappointed but not overwhelmed. Kind of so so. This is the definition of a hybrid with qualities of several entities but not necessarily the best qualities.

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Photo of Resuin
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Stone snifter. 2013 series.

Appearance: Pours a brown/reddish raisin color and leaves a big finger of off-white/light tan head which slowly fades to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Bourbon soaked raisins and figs, red wine vinegar, chocolate covered coffee beans. A bit astringent. Very interesting aroma. The vinegar scent seems a bit out of place. Definitely big and sweet overall.

Taste: Actually matches the aroma quite well, but everything is a bit more subdued which is nice, as the aroma was a bit big for me. Bourbon soaked raisins, oak, cocoa, roasted malts, a bit of coffee, red wine vinegar, more dark fruits: good amount of sweetness, but definitely not overly sweet. The alcohol is pretty well masked by the sweetness.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium, slightly creamy body.

Overall: The big aroma, especially the vinegar in there, takes center stage and even hides the other flavors a bit for me. If that were more subdues I would definitely enjoy this more. However, this is still a very complex, interesting brew with a nice flavor and good drinkability.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 12.9.13

A - Pours a very cloudy and murky medium brown with an average light tan head with good retention.

S - Caramel, malt, bourbon.

T - Caramel and bourbon, some acidic wood in the finish.

D -Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - Lots of caramel and bourbon, a bit hot.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage, held onto for a little while and finally decided to pop it. I don't have the appropriate vocabulary to describe the color of this beer. Red, brown, copper, and orange. Initially a good one finger head, drops, leaves lacing, whispy foam on top of the beer. Aroma, complex, first impression - woodsy with hops that are grapefruity and piney, caramel, saw dust, dank wet leaves, but not funky wet leaves just wet leaves. Kinda a wierd aroma but I dig it. There is also a little alcohol on the nose. The flavor hits you with woodsy-ness, saw dust, vanilla, and toasty macadamia nuts. Pithy, grapefruit bitterness on the backend, funny how after so long the hops still break through. There is, like on the nose, a strange stale plywood thing happening...hmmm. Its an american strong ale, it is thick, it is oily on the palate.
In the end I honestly like regular double bastard more. the barrel treatment is a little weird. Maybe just one barrel treatment would be better, I think the raw oak gives it a weird flavor. But, that is just comparing this to the regular. This beer standing on its own is very good. I do love a lot of the flavors, though I wouldn't go out of my way to trade for or buy this beer again.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml corked and caged bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Pours a reddish brown with a finger of light tan head. Big aroma of toffee and vanilla with a bit of hops. Medium bodied. Starts off with some hop bitterness and moves onto more toffee and vanilla. Long finish with some more hops. There's a lot going on here. Tasty. Expensive.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a cloudy caramel colored amber brown. Some off-white froth.

(S)- Slightly smoky/brine profile meets lots of vanilla and oak. Subtle sweetness of caramel.

(T)- Lots of caramel meets the charred oak. Very subtle smokiness in there with plenty of oaky vanilla.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Sweet, but balanced well with the smoky oak.

(O)- I like this. Remnants of an old ale and barleywine with the charred oak and smoke.

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Photo of nataku00
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy mahogany, dark brown with some orange and red tints. Minimum head disappears quickly. Mild carbonation visible, a few tiny bubbles at the edge of the glass as you swish the beer around.

Nose is toffee, caramel, with some residual orange and grapefruit notes from the hops, leather, light toasted oak, warm spices like cinnamon and clove.

Taste has a good hit of hops from base Double Bastard, grapefruit orange and pine, then sweet toffee and caramel flavors and warm cinnamon and clove spices. Just a light toasted oak note on the finish, with quite a bit of hop flavor.

Medium to full body, sticky, with mild carbonation.

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Photo of cbutova
4.11/5  rDev -4%

Thanks Dan and Emma for sharing this.

A- Split a few ways and poured to pint glasses with a muddled dark amber brown body. A crown forms atop the brew to over a finger with a semi-thick creamy consistency. A big sheet of lace forms for about an inch with

S- Sweet caramelized sugars, brown sugar and crystal malt sweetness with a large dose of Bourbon and oak. Big vanilla and whiskey come out with toasted and fresh oak tannins. Some raisins ala Old Ale as well.

T- Oak and whiskey complexity really comes out in this beer and I guess it makes sense with the blend of barrels. Tons of vanilla, sour whiskey, pepper whiskey, fresh oak wood as well as toasted oak; just a plethora of oak barrel hints. The base Double Bastard feels aged but not all that much with a huge amount of brown sugar, musty caramel, slight alcohol and raisins.

MF- Medium bodied and oily body with a silky and creamy texture. Warmth in the finish is towards the high side. Carbonation at a medium level just a shade towards low.

A lot of whiskey and oak complex flavors but it doesn't drown out the base beer that much or make it feel alcoholic. The body is somewhat thinned out but it still holds up enough to make for a great experience.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

admittedly i was never the hugest arrogant bastard fan, but so many of its reincarnations have been splendid. maybe none more so than southern charred. this brew pours a medium copper color, maybe a touch darker, with less than a half inch of khaki head. it has a nose of burnt amber malt, toffee and buttery sweetness, strong vanilla and oak elements, but its not bourbon forward as i expected. its also not as charred as i expected, given its name and barrel treatments. i get some carbon charcoal mellowness type of vibes, but its not actually a ton of flavor. the hops of the bastard have mellowed considerably, although this still has enough bitterness to counterbalance all the sweet. strong boozy notes come out, even more intensely when it warms up. a slow sipper to say the least, but a very layered brew full of sweet malt, earthy wood, and sturdy booze. full bodied and not overly carbonated, this feels about like it should for a strong ale. i know these were expensive, but a beer worth trying without question.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Double Bastard is one of my favorite ales ever and roast tastes are something I really dig in a beer, so I was disappointed that my local bottle shop didn’t get any of this. By a random stroke of luck, though, I happened across a liquor store while visiting a part of town I almost never frequent. Guess what I saw as soon as I walked in? That’s right – the beer gods have smiled upon me for this one. Cheers!

Batch 07, bottled in October 2013 (two months before the date of this tasting).

A: Light chocolate color to the body, nearly opaque. Head is short, brown, and slightly silky-looking, like wet sand; lots of fizz in the body, though little retention and lace.

S: This smells quite a bit different than the typical Double Bastard: sure, the heavy malt bill of before is apparent in a rush of thick caramel and molasses, but it’s under a sustained aroma of milk chocolate, vanilla taffy, and woody bourbon. Complex and mouth-watering. There’s a hefty amount of smoke amongst the sweets of the barrel, as well, which gives this a burnt marshmallow flair.

T: Bold, as expected, but in layers. Starts up with a mellow sweetness like vanilla cream soda or marshmallow fluff, then it slowly builds to a tone centered on hop and booze tastes. A deep drink can be off-putting, as it brings up a bitter, alcoholic flavor, but give it a sip and it presents itself with much more sophistication: booze that is warm and sweet, like a whiskey-coke, mixed with flavors of black cherry, vanilla, and cream sherry. I guess you could say that the back of the palate is bourbon-forward, but it’s in a wonderfully drinkable and satisfying way. Smoke and chocolate are presented in equal fashion, enhancing the palate in subtle ways throughout (though they never get the spotlight). The finish is dry above all else, hop-oriented with its lingering marks of grass and oily lemon.

M: This is a thick, oily beer at first sip – and at second sip, and third, and fourth…once you get a little ways into the bottle, though, the heat and bitterness starts to become more pronounced, which overrides the slickness to an extent. Overall, a full body with a sparkling carbonation and a dry heat that keeps it drinkable.

O: A little barrel treatment is just what this beer needed to bump it up into the higher echelons of craft brewing; however, I’m not as impressed with the result as I feel I could have been. Maybe it’s because the original Double Bastard costs $9 and this one ran just under $20, but I expected something more. At any rate, this is still an excellent beer, and I feel that the mixed barrel-aging created something wonderful – even at only 8% of the final beer, that charred American oak is certainly recognizable.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased from Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Uncorked and poured into my Rooster Fish tulip. This was one tough mofo of a cork, by the way, took forever to get out. Pours a sort of dirty muddy brown, with some red tints. Half inch head, very small amount of lacing.

Aromas include oak, maple, bourbon, vanilla, and caramel.

Some similar tastes- very bourbon and oak forward beer. The base beer is taken over by the barrel-aging- there is some mild resinous hop flavor near the back of each sip, but the abrasive hoppiness of Double Bastard has been calmed. Tons of caramel and vanilla here, as well as a nice charred taste- smoky and woody, probably from the virgin charred oak barrels used as a percentage of the final yield.

Medium body, could be a little thicker. Starts sweet and boozy, finishes dry. Low carbonation.

A great BA beer from Stone, turns a brash and rude beer into something luxurious and badass.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a very murky light brown or faded amber. A soft white head shows for a minute, but then quickly fades. Looks about like I poured a glass of lake water.

S- Bourbon, oak barrels, vanilla, caramel, fruity esters, slight vinegar, crisp apples, and the slightest hint of dark fruits.

T- Wow. Big, rich, enhanced flavors that the nose picked up on. The vanilla packs a massive punch up front, then the herbal hops, bourbon, and oak help to kick things up a notch. Remains surprisingly smooth in the silky, delicious finish. An outstanding caramelized sugar character throughout. Faint chocolate and pepper. Huge barrel notes on this one.

M- Full body, soft carbonation, and sweet. A sipper for sure, but remains so smooth as it hides the alcohol unlike most other of this ABV. Make no mistake, the booze are there, just no hot or burning sensation

O- Didn't get to try Crime and Punishment, but this one was outstanding. The caramelized sugary sweet notes come together flawlessly with the bourbon aging.

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Photo of Dope
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled October 2013.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown. Tall, dense and frothy tan head. Thin but wide swatches of lacing left behind. Great island of foam too.

S: Very oaky with a bit of char. Mild bourbon behind that with some caramel and vanilla. Some breadiness peeking through - just a little.

T: Oaky up front with lots of bourbon this time around. Loads of vanilla, toffee, a little burnt sugar and caramel. Get quite a bit of raisins in there too. Heavy bready malt, particularly in the middle and finish, giving it almost a raisin bread flavor briefly. Burnt raisin bread in fact. Pretty boozy. Charred oak in the aftertaste and lots of it, mixing with a lingering bourbon flavor. Plenty of stinging alcohol. For lack of a better description, there is quite a bit of stale hops in the aftertaste too. Makes sense as this is aged Double Bastard.

M: Thick, thick and thick. Heavy. Viscous. Syrupy. You get the idea. The big booziness is the only thing that cuts it.

O: One boozy, oaky and malty brew. Lots going on in this one with; quite complex.

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Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 500 ml (1 pt 0.9 fl oz) corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Newton, MA
2013 series
Batch No 7
Served in a snifter

The dark yet nearly clear, garnet tinged mahogany liquid was topped by frothy, bubbly, one-finger tall, ecru colored crown. Chunks of drippy lacing stuck along the glass. The head faded to a bubbly ringlet.

The aroma was outstanding. Toasted coconut and vanilla immediately smacked me in the face. The bourbon and barrel character was in full effect. Raisin notes also came through strong. Loads of brown sugar and dark fruits. Hint of port wine. Toffee and caramel were apparent as well. All in all, quite sweet, yet not overly so. Remarkably intense and complex, but also super smooth.

Rich caramel malts and toasted oak came through strong in the flavor profile. Sweet and malty up front with intense raisin and plum notes. Loads of bourbon and brown sugar. Touch of port. Very barleywine-esque. The beer turned super oaky on the back and in the finish. Slightly boozy. Almost a bit tannic. Piney, resiny hops came through as well. A dry, pithy bitterness lingered on my palate long after each sip.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style. Creamy and somewhat frothy. Decent but fairly nondescript.

Like all of Stone's "bastard" beers, this one too is apologetically brash. I really enjoyed the rich malt, dark fruit and bourbon notes in the flavor profile, but the intensely hoppy and bitter finish was bit much for my liking. Perhaps another year or so of aging might smooth out some of this beer's rougher edges.

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Photo of Braseltonage
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle, Prairie Teku.

A: Initially large bubbled, off white head. Dies to near zero retention, a little lacing. Cloudy deep amber.
S: Bourbon on bourbon. Sweet, vanilla, candied fruits. Mild hints of cinnamon.
T: Boozy cherries, vanilla. A fading bitterness on the finish, perhaps the last remnants of the great hop presence that once was. Once I get a little acclimated, the DB based shows up. Starts to get a little drier, let you know it wasn’t a sweet barleywine in there afterall. Gives a fair dose of balance for the finish.
M: Honestly pretty easy drinking given what it is. Always thought DB finished fantastically as a large beer, this still holds onto some of that but with all the sweet bourbon-ness of the barrel aged version.
O: A real Thursday night treat, but not totally blowing me away. The barrel has teamed up with Father Time to knock a lot of the DB signature out of it, although it did make a nice appearance on the finish. I tend to give high marks to anything coming out of barrel and this is no different, just saying it didn't necessarily stand apart the way I might have expected.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a muddy milk chocolate brown, slight bit of light coming through when the glass is at an angle. Small light toffee head that stuck around long than expected. Doesn't look to be huge in body as the ABV my suggest.

S- Oak, vanilla, caramel, definite alcohol presence, salt water taffy, some raisin, and a good amount of hops.

T- Similar to aroma. Getting lots of the bourbon upfront with the oak and vanilla, plus some of the big caramel malt character from the Double Bastard. Nice dark fruits in the middle and ends with a big hop character that I think is a bit too much. I'm just not one that thinks hops and bourbon really pair well together.

M- Very nice and creamy that is on the lighter side of a heavy mouthfeel.

O- This beer has a great barrel character and the malt of the base beer really pairs well with it, I just don't think the hop character of the Double Bastard pairs as well. Having aged for about a year in barrels i was figuring the beer would have been a bit more mellow in the hops but it actually kinda tasted more hoppy than regular Double Bastard to me. But the barrel aspect is just fantastic to me, not too much alcohol and still fully flavored with oak and vanilla. A really nice beer and I will definitely be looking for more of Stone's barrel aged stuff.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Last of the bottles I obtained from 99 Bottles in Singapore, and the priciest of the lot by far ($55 SGD, which is something like $45 USD - no clue what it's going for stateside, but I imagine not that much). Regardless, I saw the good reviews, love Stone, love barrel aging, love Double Bastard ... too much potential to pass up. Plus, it was my honeymoon. Poured in to a cognac snifter.

Appearance: An inauspicious beginning, though who would expect a barrel aged, highly hopped, high abv% brew to flow forth from the bottle bright, lively, with a gorgeous permanent head and amazing lacing? Instead, I got what I was expecting - a dull copper colored brew, filtered clear, but with a maximum head height of about a half inch that lasted less than the same fraction of a minute. Almost no lacing of which to speak either, and after a little while in the cognac glass and enough sips to make you ever so slightly absentminded, one could mistake this for cognac, given the lack of visible carbonation.

Aroma: Surprisingly subtle for the treatment + base beer, in my opinion. DB is a bracingly biting brew; even aged (of which I've had several, including a five year vertical once upon a time that was a large contributor to a worthwhile night but painful subsequent morning) showcase fierce hop aromatics, leafy, piney, piercingly sharp notes that make your nose hairs curl. Which is why it's surprising that the same beer - allowed to age for the same amount of time in a barrel as I've had mine aging at 68F in a dark cellar - is so delicate here, even at room temperature. That's not to say it's not complex - just not as in your face as many (most?) Stone offerings and many barrel aged brews are.

That said, it's even more interesting that--with such a potent base beer--the barrel really dominates the nose. Of the fifteen or so different notes I get dancing around here, the strongest--vanilla, wood aldehydes, smooth, mellow, warming bourbon--are all barrel-imparted. Does American oak have a particular diffusional affinity for hop acids/oils? Not sure how else to explain the relative lack of evidence of this beer's origins. Not to say they're absent - bready and heavily caramelized though not quite toasted malts are prevalent, intermingling beautifully with the aforementioned. The added benefit of almost no heat despite the intimidating abv% is an added bonus.

Taste: First impression is again, surprisingly, one of subtlety. The irony of a beer company that aggressively markets itself as "arrogant," brash, and in-your-face producing a barrel aged double-strength highly hopped strong ale that manages to be this subtle is worth noting. Toffee and caramel base notes provide support for a ton of vanilla, some chalky wood tannins, barrel sugars, and a crisp, spicy, but nuanced bourbon overtone. The hop presence that features so prominently in Double Bastard (well, in every Stone beer, but, yeah, particularly in Double Bastard) is still here, mellowly bitter, leathery and leafy, with a decent if not groundbreaking interplay with the barrel notes, particularly the the heat and spice of the bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Ahhhh. A perfect compliment to the aforementioned taste profile. Just the right amount of lift - a moderate, fine aeration that asserts itself for quite a long time - keeps this beer from becoming a fat, cloying, hot, sticky sweet mess, perhaps more than any other factor. Instead, you get a really good interplay of substance and style.

Drinkability: I'd be lying if I said I didn't regret not sharing this one. It's been quite some time since I enjoyed craft beer, and so I blew through my newest acquisitions fairly quickly (three pretty pricey imported and then checked-through-customs brews in three days), but in hindsight this beer would have been a great one to share with some potential craft beer converts. Yeah, it's harsh at times, high in alcohol, and probably too ambitious, falling short of what it would be ... but isn't that why we love (American) craft beer? Pushing the envelope, taking something simple and making it more unique, more complex, more personal. Even when you fall flat on your face (note: not saying this beer falls flat on its face, as it does not), the spirit is what's important, and the possibilities bounded in potentiality only by the limits of the human imagination are (or were for me, at least) one of the reasons craft beer is so alluring.

All in all, as far as 12.6% abv brews go, this one's fairly quaffable, save the price point/availability (at least for me - it's not every day I can afford to fly across four countries to buy a $45 beer). Was it worth trying once? As with so many examples of envelope pushing/creativity, yes.

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Photo of portia99
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

L - Pours a muddy, murky medium brown color, translucent with a small cap of khacki head that is foamy and shows good staying power. Even sheet of lace coats the glass.

S - Pretty boozy with plenty of bourbon up front. Lots of buttery aroma too. Faint gingerale, tons of toffee and caramel. A lot going on here.

T - Matches the aroma pretty well. Bourbon is front and center with noticeable alcohol warmth. Hops still come through surprisingly well giving some balancing bitterness. Lots of estery flavors from the base beer which I thought would be overpowered by the bourbon, but manage to push through quite nicely. Buttery flavors are a bit too firm for my liking, becoming especially potent as the beer warms in the glass. Smokey, charred aspects come on towards the swallow. Plenty of caramel, burnt sugar and vanilla flavors. Quite complex.

F - Lowish/medium carbonation that is lightly prickly on the tongue and gives a lively feel overall. Medium body...a bit thinner than expected, but still appropriate and appealing. Noticeably boozy/bourbon with a faint tingle and some alcohol warmth felt on every sip. Firm bourbon presence but not heavy handed - intensity matches well with the base Double Bastard.

O - Very good barrel aged strong ale. Great beer to start with and barrel aging only added more complexity to it. Most all of the aspects of this beer work well for me. My only complaint is the intense buttery aroma and flavor that is found here. A case where a little bit is good, but a lot is just too much. I know my palate is particularly sensitive to this flavor so it may not be as intense for others, but a bit much for me. Other than that...this is a great combo of bourbon, hops and various sugars all melded together very well.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, I see ya Stone. I see your brashness, I see your aggression, I see your abrasion. But now you've chosen a term that resonates greatly with the South, with the Bourbon constituents, with a mindset of succulence, richness and refinement. Stone, your tipping your toe in... Let's see what you got...

Southern Charred opens with lackluster charm. Murky as a muddle rain puddle, its brown, gold and amber is nothing appealing... until it releases a sandy-bright blanket of foam. Like meringue, it concretes its top with a long lasting cap and with broken lace as the beer slowly recedes.

But on sniff and it's all over... the aromas meld into the soul with absolute succulent power. Everything from sweet maple, to boubon-soaked oak, to butterscotch, to cherry wood, to vanilla and cream- everything that's imagined about butter pecan manifests themselves into this ale form.

And that's how the taste opens. Its sultry, savory and succulent tone seduces the taste buds with absolute ease as the sugars, buttery richness and creamy sweetness massages away any worry. But as the beer traverses over the middle, it pulls in other complexities: first an oaken wave of charred oak; then high bitter stemmy bitterness; and later bourbon-soaked fruit. Finishing with de-e-e-eply resinous bittering and playful acidity- the ale is dry tasting with hops, whisky and wood spice.

Its full body is largely due to its high residual sweetness that saturates and caresses the palate in seductive fashion. As their grip slowly releases, an abrassive grate comes and scrubs the palate far sooner than what is preferred. Its late charge of bitterness and malty-dryness extends well into the next savory sip.

Like the love-hate relationship you have with an ex-girlfriend. She's sweet and irresistible early but bitter and gnarly late. But once you're over her- you go back in for another taste. She's the blessing and the curse all in one.

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Photo of Ri0
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 500ml bottle into chalice. Bottled Oct, 2013.

A - A murky brown color with a thin head. Fades quickly and leaves the slightest ring with some spotty lacing. Not the most attractive beer, but that is not what it is about.

S - Sweet brown sugar, molasses, burnt caramel, and some dark fruit. The bourbon, vanilla, and oak all stand out and there is some butterscotch. I don't find any of the hops in the nose.

T - Starts off sweet with brown sugar, molasses, and some dark fruit. The vanilla and butterscotch stand out more and there are notes of bourbon and oak. The hops are muted from the Double Bastard base with some noticeable alcohol. Has some Old ale and Scotch ale qualities.

M - Medium body with nominal carbonation. Somewhat of a syrup feel, but smooth with a warming finish.

O - This was really nice and shows you just how versatile Double Bastard can be. It had some qualities that reminded me of a old ale or barrel aged scotch ale.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the Stone Bistro in San Diego. Pours a murky brownish amber with a ring of yellowish brown head. Aroma is some dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon, anise, caramel, toffee, maybe even a little chocolate. Big time caramel on the nose as this warms. Smells very nice. Flavor follows with sweet caramel, fig, vanilla, smoke, peat, perhaps some chocolate. Very nice layer of flavors. Sweet but not cloying. Bourbon is there and had a slight burn, but it isn't overly hot, albeit a strong whiskey presence. Medium carbonation, thick heavy mouthfeel. Overall a very nice barrel aged brew that I would put in the BA Barleywine category. Still a bit of hop presence from the Double Bastard, and I expect this would age nicely and turn a little thicker and sweeter.

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Southern Charred from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.