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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,868 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,868
Reviews: 1,998
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 376
Gots: 860 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,868 | Reviews: 1,998 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MountainBeagle:
Photo of MountainBeagle
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 release from a 22 bottle, a few weeks old. 10.5 percent 100+ ibu

First Thoughts: Damn this beer is sweet, has it always been like this? However, it has some special b or peat malts that are really good.

The Good: Hop monster of a beer with slight smokiness and arrogance. The taste is of hoppy whiskey but in a good way.

The Bad: Malt monster of a beer, it's too sweet for my liking. 2010 was better.

The Bottom Line: Ye shall know the bastard and the bastard shall set you free! A good beer but you better be ready for it. I'd put in the strong ale/barley wine category.

MountainBeagle, Nov 05, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Preparation – I popped an Arrogant Bastard for comparison purposes and thought it might be interesting to do the review in this manner. Not only is this my 400th review, but it’s also my 39th birthday. Cheers!

Appearance – This came out a beautiful brown, lighter than the Arrogant Bastard but with a bigger head. I knew after a few minutes that it was not going down for a while, so I left it for five minutes or so.

Smell – The sharp, complex hops come out slowly and very tight. I left it again to warm a bit and came back to a smack on the olfactory bulb. The toasted malt balance is there as well, but this is all about the awesome Stone hops.

Taste – This has a little bit more malt balance than the Arrogant Bastard. Otherwise, it is surprisingly similar. It seems a bit more refined, though. The extraordinary complexity of the hops is astounding. Every type you can think of sends a delegate to this gathering of electives.

The malts have to be huge just to get noticed, and they are. There’s actually some sweetness to this one, mostly caramel and table sugar.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and bitter, but with a touch of offsetting caramel on the cheeks. This ale is smooth, smooth, smooth. Not a hint of alcohol that I could pick up. Unbelievable!

Drinkability – What makes the Arrogant Bastard a shade from perfect, IMHO, is the lack of refinement and harmony of flavors (which could probably be relegated with a little cellaring). The DB has it all, and IMO can not be improved.

Update – The 2005s just came out (11/10/05) so I culled one out of the cellar box before tucking it away. It’s tight and not opened up yet, but man the hops are raging and the malts are in full effect. I put my ‘04s away for two years but I think this vintage will be best after just 1 year in the cellar.

RoyalT, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I’ve found a bottle of this much sought after strong, hoppy monster. 22 oz, 06, bomber purchased from Chuck’s Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls, OH. Bought and consumed on 06-12-07.

Appearance: Crimson lava body. Tan head.

Aroma: All the good stuff. Plantation pine and apricot plantation. Cedar chips smoldering under a grill covered in hardened caramel that slowly melts and drips onto those hot cedar chips creating a flare up of smoky-sweet caramel aroma. Yum. One knows that this packs a lot of hops and at least a little strength.

Taste: There is a heck of a lot going on here. I’m first hit by juicy citrus and tropical fruit, especially mango and then grapefruit. Next I notice pine. Then the caramel brings everything together but it quickly melts under the pressure of some hearty booze esters that resemble brown sugar. That make way for toffee which turns to smoke, then tree bark, which finally brings me back to even more pine. As it warms it becomes hoppy port for a few seconds and then hoppy fuel. Finally we’re left with flavorful booze that is sweet and bitter at the same time and extremely warming.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and full but not filling or burdensome. There is an airy quality, perhaps from a relatively strong carbonation that helps to balance all of this out. The hop presence certainly does well to match the sugariness from the booze and the bountiful caramel sweetness. All in all this is really well balanced, complex, and delicious.

Drinkability: Very good. I relished this bomber and wanted another right away. At 10% or so, this could become a real dangerous brew if I had a lot of it.

DaPeculierDane, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 8-6-10.

A: Pours a dirty, murky brown-amber into my snifter. A medium pour yields a tiny head that leaves behind a clumpy, long lasting beige film that cover the majority of the beer. The carbonation bubbles mosey at a medium march. A parabolic arch of lacing is left behind with each sip, which breaks into dots and snaky lines. This beer looks mysterious.

S: A thick, musty caramel malt scent is the biggest player in the smell play. This is very sweet smelling with some raisin, fig, and plum notes also prominent. A banana breadiness is also climbing into my nose, along with a slight citrus hop presence. DB smells huge and delicious and it makes me very excited to drink it.

T: Musty, sweet caramel malts are also the dominant taste, but there is an earthy hop bitterness accompanying the malts that I did not pick up in the smell. This hop presence certainly does not balance the sweetness, but it does add a wonderful cleansing of the palate at the finale of each pull. The raisin, plum, fig, and banana bread notes that I found in the smell add a nice complexity to the overall taste and round out a big and phenomenal beer.

M: DB is creamy and full bodied with an appropriate hop bite at the finish. The sweetness really coats the palate with a nice film and then the hop cleansing dries off the film nicely.

D: Well, it took me the better part of two hours to drink this behemoth, so I'm not sure how "drinkable" is really is, but do know this: it's damned good and I really enjoyed exploring its nuances.

TCHopCraver, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of kaimcm
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 vintage, poured into a Duvel glass. Reviewed 2/05. Cheers to pizzaportorbust for the bottle!

A: brown, dark deep copper, off white creamy head. light stick, but not much, easy agitation brings back velvety head.

S: rum, dark candied fruits, raisons, brown sugar, butter, alcohol

T: first wave is luscious and creamy malt, sugar, maple, some hazelnut with a very vinous quality, reminiscent of Sherry. Raisons, rum soaked cake, butter creaminess that makes the body so rich. this beer tastes like 1000 calories, not that I care, but its rich! on the back of the tongue a slight hop bitterness, with a dry finish.

M: creamy, slighty chewy, excellent carbonation level even after a few years. held up very well, feels great in the mouth.

D: hard to say. at 10% this beer is kickin my ass more than I can explain. super tasty but pair well and with caution or set your night aside for this beast.

its amazing what age has done to this brew. a few months ago i had a fresh bottle that was chaotic and brash. with 2 plus years in the bottle this has mellowed into an incredible barley wine. fresh its a conundrum, with some age the balance pulls through, the hops mellow, and the complexity and drinkability rise dramatically. its a good drink occasionally fresh, but aged this awesome juice is a must have.

kaimcm, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of heavy sweet malt with a strong dose of bitter hops. Taste is really sweet with a heavy dose of sweet malt plus a strong bitter hops presence. Body is above average with no discernable trace of alcohol. Very good try at bringing a lot of extreme side to a beer while conserving some balance.

Phyl21ca, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy coppery amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down but has excellent retention properties, consistently leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a thick ring of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has aromas of caramel malts along with notes of brown sugar and citrus and pine resin hops and hints of alcohol.
T: There are definitely a lot of malts in a beer this strong and flavors of caramel malts are very prominent. A moderate amount of bitterness from the hops is present, as well as some hints of alcohol, brown sugar, malty sweetness and toffee. The taste seems to become more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and slightly sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is rather dry.
O: This beer almost tastes like a “lighter” version of an American barleywine but has rather intense flavors of malts and hops. It is definitely a beer that needs to be slowly sipped.

Note: 2011 release

metter98, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper with a nice wheat head and a good deal of lacing.

S: Tropical hops and some roasted malts that bring on a good deal of sweetness.

T: Quite sweet with dark sugars and caramel in addition to the tropical and citrus hops. Slightly earthy with some wood notes.

M: Full body with good carbonation and a bready mouthfeel.

D: Pretty drinkable. This is definitely a bastard of a beer. I had this pretty fresh, and I'd like to try aging a bottle of this to see what sort of complexities comeout.

Thorpe429, May 01, 2009
Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
3.19/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I've really enjoyed everything I've had by Stone--a lot--except for this beer, which I've now had once several months aged, and once very fresh. I will give it credit for being a unique experience, and certainly an arrogant one (even doubly arrogant), but it's a bit like drinking watered-down caramel syrup mixed with Robitussin and ethyl alcohol. I finished it, and certainly preferred the fresh version, but it was more a chore and duty than a real pleasure. I've had bigger beers, even a couple much bigger beers, and I found them easier to drink and tastier than this one. I've also had Stone's IRS, Old Guardian, Ruin 10, which are similar, at least, in terms of their size; and enjoyed them all vastly more. Indeed, one or two of them are among my very favorites. But this one's just a little too much (of syrupy medicinal malts) for me.

Nietzsches_Horse, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bomber poured into a snifter and shared with the roommates.

A: The pour is a clear, dark copper color with a lot of red notes to it. The head is about a finger's worth of cream colored foam.

S: The nose has a nice sweet caramel, toffee, and fruit background. A lot of raisins and oranges, and a touch of floral hops.

T: The flavor is very interesting and while it has the trademark Stone hoppiness, there's a lot more going on. The flavor starts off very sweet with caramel, toffee and perhaps even butterscotch. The raisins and oranges again make an appearance in the middle and are followed by a bitter, piney finish. The biggest flaw is that the beer is a bit hot.

M: The body is fantastic. Very full with an almost chewy texture and a moderate level of carbonation. The finish is surprisingly dry.

D: As I mentioned before, the biggest flaw with this beer is the alcohol presence. And as the glass warms up, it comes out a bit more. This is a big, big beer, and one you can't drink too much of in a sitting.

womencantsail, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 release

Appearance: Pours a clear caramel color with a nice head that leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Rich aroma, filled with caramel, butterscotch, candied apples, pears and chocolate covered cherries

Taste: Opens with a huge caramel flavor, that has plenty of fruity elements in there, too; while the bitter citrus has clearly been matured out of the mix, the caramel apple and pear flavors are very interesting; after the swallow, there is a hint of its bitter past, but the flavors are mellow, like a fine barleywine

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Merry Christmas to me, having cellared this for four years; I didn't much care for the young Arrogant Bastard (puts flak jacket on), but this, with age, is sublime

brentk56, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 release.

Pours a murky caramel color with a small 1 inch bone head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Smells of caramel, toffee, sweet malt, and some dark fruits. Very inviting smells. This beer smells very much like a barleywine to me. Taste is very much like the smell and is of caramel, toffee, and sweet/brown sugary malt. Medium bitterness on the palate with each sip. There is a very good balance between the sweetness and the bitterness in this beer. A good level of carbonation leads to a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, a most excellent beer from Stone that I like much better than Arrogant Bastard. I am frustrated that I only got one bottle of this when it came out. I think that this will age very well and I will be on the lookout for more bottles for my cellar.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of Svendozen
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Waaay malty, waaaaayyy syrupy. Don't get me wrong, it's very good, but Holy Moly.

Svendozen, Nov 03, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Release.

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish amber body with a well-formed, sustaining, off-white head. Copious amounts of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Aromatic hoppy nose, some sweetish hints to it, and smelling of fresh orange peel, exotic flowers, pine resin, and a splash of pomegranate liqueur. Caramel-scented maltiness underneath. Very, very minor wafts of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet caramel-laden maltiness with a pinch of light brown sugar and a quick drizzle of simple syrup brace themselves for the impact of hops. Quick montage of fruit flavors - oranges, grapefruits, pomegranates, even sweet cherries. This precedes a solid jolt of straight-up citrus and pine hoppiness with a full, sturdy bitterness. Definitely a warming beer, but not quite hot or bracing for me. Drying finish with a touch of booze and more than a touch of bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended! I'm ashamed to admit it's been more than a few years since I've had a bottle of this to myself, but I'm more than pleased to be having a fresh bottle and am happy they're finally, at long last, distributing to the state of Georgia.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was actually the second time I was able to try this awesome brew and man I want more!Pours a rich deep copper with some amber hue with a one finger head that is gone pretty quickly,intense fruity aromas washed with alcohol with some brown sugar in there as well big and bold to say the least.Flavors are just sublime again the intense fruit and caramel up front but the big hop presence is felt to meet the big chewey maltiness half way to make this just exceptional.Thanks to Garagekegger for sharing another awesome beer.

oberon, May 03, 2005
Photo of Bmm281
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Bmm281, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of ExtraStout
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a big tan head, the beer is ruby brown in color. Smells sweet, citric, alcoholy. Almost no carbonation. From the first sip the alcohol makes its presence known. Bitter throughout with a nutty-bitter slightly astringent aftertaste, which really lingers. A faint mustiness can be tasted, which seems odd and out of place. A real hoppy kick in the crotch. I wanted to like this beer more, but it was a little too bitter/astringent without enough balancing maltiness for me.

ExtraStout, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

t2grogan, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

jono0101, May 18, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 consumed 6-11-10

The pour seems syrupy and the color is murky and brown. Not much head, good retention for what it has.

The nose is showing oxidation similar to an aged Bigfoot or another iconic barleywine. Raisin, caramelized sugars left and right, sherry, dehydrated banana.

The flavors are a rare balance of brown sugar, dough, toffee, and just all out malt richness, with somehow a spicy, mineral hop finish. It's high-octane and more intense than the average Barleywine. The carbonation is low, making the already thick body seem even thicker.

Unusual and oddly addictive. I've enjoyed this fresh and aged alike. It just depends on what tickles your fancy. I do not feel so all alone.

brownbeer, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Mac19872
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Mac19872, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Tiernan, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Double Bastard Ale... Bring it on. 10.5% alcohol and from Stone, this is bound to be good stuff.

A- Pours a firey burnt orange fluid almost red.
In the sunlight shows beautiful glowing orange with bright flame-like red edges in glass. Produces a almost tan off white head that sticks around for a while leaving sticky rings around glass.

S- Large carmel malt scent upfront with a secondary hint of plum, grass, citrus and mild alcohol fumes.

T-M- The taste is one of its own. First is the big hop bitterness of citrus and fresh cut grass. Second is the toasted malts and barley that shows a thick pressence on the tongue. Alcohol is hidden but definitly there in a fresh way. I like the complex hop flavor with a malty backbone and a alcohol finish to prove itself. For a beer of this magnitude i believe its mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth and warming with nothing to piss off your taste buds... beware.

D- As drinkable as a strong ale comes... 10.5 and nothing to let you know its coming to get you. I'll buy again soon.

wesbrownyeah, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of tbryan5
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

tbryan5, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of GameOfBeers
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%

GameOfBeers, Aug 18, 2014
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Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,868 ratings.