Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Southern Charred - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Southern CharredSouthern Charred

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

46 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 380
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 87
Gots: 113 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 46 | Hads: 380
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. (1,024 characters)

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. (1,925 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a murky dirty brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of wood and rye whiskey is pretty dominant with some light hoppy relics notes. Taste is also dominated by rye whiskey notes with quite a bit of woody notes with some residuals sugar notes and light fading hoppy notes. Body is full with good carbonation with some well-balanced warming notes. One of the best nightcap beers I’ve tasted in the recent months. (482 characters)

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Surprising combination of aroma and flavors to me. Aroma gave me a lot of fruit - peach / apricot along with some almond / marzipan / vanilla. Flavor moves quickly through that into toffee, cotton candy, carmel terrain. Finishes with oak, bourbon, vanilla, kissed with smoke, touch of meaty tobacco. The smoke is beautifully subtle, fleeting, accumulates across the glass.

I actually found this more elegant and less bruising than expected. Stone can still surprise. (482 characters)

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
2013

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. (304 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml caged and corked bottle, bottled October 2013. Served in a Great Lakes Brewing chalice, the beer pours a murky hazelnut brown color with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a little while. There's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like toffee, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit (raisins), and wood. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some plums, dark bread, candied oranges and a little bit of peppery spice. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's syrupy and creamy with moderate carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good brew. It's pricey at $19.99 a bottle, but definitely worth trying. I'd consider buying another bottle if I found some again. (721 characters)

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. (496 characters)

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. (944 characters)

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. (1,219 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into snifter. Bottled October 2013.

A: Pours a deep, murky, maroon with a finger of thick tan colored head that slowly faded into a greasy film and thick collar. Sheets of wispy, bubbly, lace were left down the glass.
S: Rich notes of boot leather, vanilla custard, earthy hop resin, smooth bourbon, camp fire toasted/singed marshmallow, leaf tobacco, dark roasted malt and a hint of medium chocolate. Smells as I would imagine this beer would smell given what it is and how it was made.
T: Follows the nose with rich flavors of leather, milk chocolate, vanilla, and slight char. I also get sweet and stick flavors of caramel, brown sugar, candied sugar, and maybe toffee. The finish is full of very mellow and smooth bourbon, oak, and bitter, leafy, hops. The aftertaste is rich, sweet, and lingering with flavors of booze, chocolate, and hop resin.
M: Full body, greasy, oily, thick and smooth mouthfeel that has a solid bitterness and a very mild alcohol presence. The carbonation is medium-low with a good chew without being distracting.
O: A very flavorful and decadent beer. The age and the barrel really add another layer of complexity and smoothness to the base beer. I wish I had purchased more bottles. (1,230 characters)

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. (761 characters)

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. (1,058 characters)

Photo of anteater
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle

A: Awesome C&C bottle. Pours a light brown with a medium light tan head.

S: Pretty sweet with bourbon and vanilla.

T: Definitely a big sweetness in this one as the nose indicates but balanced out evenly by a really nice bitterness. Major oak, vanilla, bourbon and toasted marshmellow. Booze is prevalent but in a very good way.

M: Thick and smooth.

O: Top notch. Excellent representation of one of my favorite styles of beer. (457 characters)

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. (1,127 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 500 ml bottle in late November from Total Wine for $16.99. Bottled in October 2013. This was an oh by the way brew as i was picking up my Firestone Walker Anniversary brew. Looking back November was probably the best release month i have experienced. FW Anniversary, Abyss, the Bourbon County series, Ivan the Terrible, and Charred led to a huge beer bill but well worth it!

Beer poured brown with a nice off white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is huge with the barrel characteristics of oak, vanilla, light smoke, and a generous snootful of bourbon.

Taste matches the nose and then some. I was greeted by a huge warming bourbon presence. In addition to the oak, vanilla, booze, and smoke i am picking up on dark fruit and dark cocoa. The hop fade from the original beer is pretty significant but there is enough to make this well balanced.

Overall this in a very intimidating brew at first but one that evolves as one sips from the snifter. The complexity is right up there with the BB brews that are heavily barreled. Check it out if you see it on the shelf and you like heavy barrel aging! (1,111 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Official/written review #1100!

For a special occasion. Poured this from a bottle gifted to me.

Bottled in October, 2013, from a series of beers aged for years.

My expectations were extremely high for this beer and it did not disappoint.

This poured a raisin brown-amber in color with lightly brown foam. It has an amazing aroma that reveals itself in successive waves as it warms and opens. Let’s see… There’s bourbon, cornflakes and vanilla, that moves over allowing some stone fruits, with a rum and raisin character, which then dances with some caramel malt complexity and just a hint of what must be the lingering hop presence, all green and sticky like a drop of pine sap on the finish. The flavor is no less layered and rewarding. Fiery, hot, vanilla, oaky, spicy, and smooth, with a peppery kick and a long, dry finish. With each successive sip I get more and more out of this beer. The closest I can compare it to is Founder’s Backwoods Bastard, but even there the comparison falls somewhat short. Worth a try if you can still find it, worth a share if you get it, and worth another once it’s gone. (1,123 characters)

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. (1,825 characters)

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. (4,716 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

The beer produces a huge, chewy, frothy head. The beer itself is very cloudy and unfiltered in appearance and has a color reminiscent of a Belgian. The color is like the skin on a plum or red grape.

I hear a lot about beers smelling like saddlebags, but this is the first beer that strikes me as having that aroma. The beer has a bit of a bitter/sour aroma that is earthy and leather-like. There are some reisnous hop aromas floating around in there as well. Some booze is present on the nose, but it is not overwhelming or dominant.

I get a blast of vanilla on the tongue almost immediately. Spicy hops bite the tongue and a bitter resin lingers. There's a lot of caramel-like flavor popping up as well, which then finishes with some bitterness from the big amount of hops.

Charred may be a misnomer here, as smooth is what I think of more. This is easy-drinking, smoothy and creamy on the mouth. The beer has its bitter moments, but I'm not left with a bitter blast at the finish and the booze is well masked.

This beer is too well-distributed to get the high ranking it really deserves, but this is a gem. For those that appreciate Stone, despite its wide distribution, this is a damn great beer. (1,246 characters)

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. (1,271 characters)

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. (1,578 characters)

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. (1,573 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 16.99. Bottled 10/13. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours a murky, opaque, ruddy brown with a half finger pale head which quickly settles to a lingering haze and leaves smalls spots of lace.

Beautifully sweet nose with vanilla, butterscotch, caramel and bourbon. I get no hint of Double Bastard other than a whisper of bready malt and earthy hops. An incredible smelling brew that I keep going back to enjoy.

The aromas weren't lying. Layers of smooth sweet bourbon-tinged vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, plum, bread, a hint of smoke, some faint leafy hops and a mellow bite of alcohol. Absolutely delicious.

Oily, slick medium full feel with soft carbonation. The aftertaste is full of butterscotch and vanilla but it's also where I detect the strongest remnants of what this beer used to be with a mild piney bitterness and caramel malts.

This is perhaps the biggest impact I've ever tasted of barrel aging to a beer. In all the right ways the Double Bastard has become something altogether different. Nothing like the brutal hop monster it began life as but utterly fantastic. I really hope that I can drink more of this someday. (1,187 characters)

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. (2,738 characters)

Photo of richj1970
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 500 ml bottle into double bastard glass.

A: Pours a cloudy mud colored brown with a small one finger tan head. Reminds me a bit of unfiltered apple cider in appearance.

S: Oak, bourbon, vanilla, and raisins.

T: Fairly significant oak flavors coming through. Sweet malts mixed with a nice hop punch. Dark fruits and some nice bourbon influence. The bourbon being much more apparent as it warms.

M: Full bodied with a bit of syrupy quality to it.

O: A very nice variation on the base beer which was already a favorite of mine. (541 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Southern Charred from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.