Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

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2,045 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,045
Hads: 6,367
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 19.25%
Wants: 469
Gots: 1,189 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-27-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,045 | Hads: 6,367
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark chestnut like color with tons of red stains mixed in. There was yellow like head typical of some of the stronger barley-wines and Old Ales (Big Foot). Smell was huge with notes of juicy fruits, esters a plenty, big hops and a blackstrap mollassas sweetness. Taste started off with more sweetness and moved to a big alcohol kick with the hops there, but the malts doing a lot of the work for once in a Stone beer. I feel that the alcohol was too brash for now and luckily I have another bottle of this, which I will keep in the cellar for at least another 2 years.

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Photo of John_M
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Perhaps I would have enjoyed this beer more if I hadn't had it right after the 10th Anniversary DIPA. For that matter, I wonder if Stone has tweaked the recipe over the years, as I've found this beer far more appealing in the past then I did at Frisco's last night.

The beer pours a darkish amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer looks quite impressive. On the nose I get sweet malt, cider and roasted nuts. Again, this beer smells very impressive, although the high abv. is noticeable even on the nose. On the palate the beer is sweet, rich and very alcholic, but with a drying hop burn in the finish. The beer is impressive, but frankly I don't feel as if the high abv. blends in all that well with the very sweet malt and hoppiness. I found the beer somewhat tiring on the palate, with this beer coming across as a sweet, but then ultimately very hoppy, barleywine.

The beer is very warming and, while impressive, is just not all that enjoyable. In the same style I much prefer the Bigfoot, where the sweet malt has been dialed down a tad. A good beer, but not what I would call terrific.

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1 pt. 6fl. Oz. bomber into my sparklingly clean Duvel tulip. Color is deep and rich and the head laces pretty well whilst fading away to a little bit o film that spits out nice hop character. Smell is piny, sticky, citrusy and boozy. Taste is about the same, but a tipped toward the booze which brings it down a notch. Same w/drinkability.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I usually like Stone, and this was no exception.
However, this beer is a league of its own, don't let the label fool you.

Poured into two tumblers, was a clear vivid orangish red with a mess of carbonation, not more than a finger head.

Smelled very spicy, very hoppy.

Taste was very much alcohol, a bit of pear and spice, a bit sweet and syrupy.

Mouthfeel was average, alot of carbonation made this feel a bit odd.

Drinkability is average. I'll have another sometime.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a goblet. 2008 edition. At this time last year, I couldn't find any of the 2007 in my neck of the woods. I guess times really are tough all around.

Side note: I don't see the point of classifying this as an American Strong Ale. I can see how it makes sense for Arrogant Bastard, which really doesn't fit into any other style classification. But as far as I'm concerned, this is indistinguishable from a barleywine. If there are any relevant differences, I am unable to detect them.

A: Dark brownish red. Hardly any head.

S: The malt and hops come together in a way that is almost reminiscent of chocolate.

T: In the past, the hoppiness has been a bit too harsh for me, so I decided to let it warm up more than I usually do in the hopes that it would calm down a bit. Doing so provided me with further ammunition for my "DB=barleywine" theory. It tasted pretty much the same as Bell's Third Coast Old Ale, but a bit worse. In fact, it became a bit of a chore to drink once I reached the second half of the bottle.

M: Acceptably thick without too much carbonation to get in the way.

D: I like Stone, but this just didn't work for me. In fact, it's kind of striking how OG manages to be both bigger and more drinkable. This is easily my least favorite of the Bastards. I haven't officially reviewed the other two yet, but I'd rank them as follows: Oaked, Arrogant, Double. Now, an Oaked Double Bastard...that's something I wouldn't mind checking out.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2006...

A: Brown-reddish hue with little head.

S: Spices along with a sugary sweetness.

T: Very similar to there barely wine (probably because its been aged a few years), but it also possess some sort of earthy and soil like flavor.

M: Good.

D: This is a pretty aggressive beer...not sure if I could have more then a bomber to myself.

Overall: Try it.

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Photo of mentor
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Complex, but abrasive and disjointed. Liquid Jimi Hendrix. If you are into dissonance and the inter-play of edgy reverb on edgy reverb, then this beer is for you. IMO, this beer needs alot of time for any chance at sorting itself out.

Fresh 2005 release pours a half finger tan head over a mildly cloudy brown/rust-copper liquid. Smells lemony hops with supporting undertones of grapefruit pith and tangerine. Some caramel malt sweet and way beneath is alcohol. Taste is potent hops that make the malt seem like soured caramel. Hops are co-humulone rough and bitterness is high. The hop flavor is woody and dry. Oranges. Pine and pith. Malt is way beneath and comes across as powery caramel with a hint of nutty that borders on chocolate. The aftertaste is cottony with an alcoholic umph that further denegrates the malt flavor. With searching, I find an ester array, but I can't identify specifics under the brutality of the hops. As I drink further, the alcohol stands out much stronger and is really wearing. The hops are wearing, this beer is not enjoyable. Yes, I can see this beer as properly being classified as an ASA. It definitely needs aging. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy thick. A nice feature that is hard to concentrate on under the hops and alcohol, which are now coming across as cheap vodka poured into my beer. I've got a bottle of 2004 in my cellar and, based on my experience tonight, I won't open it for another couple years.

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Photo of hobojon
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Served in globe glass.

Aroma- very lacking. cookies, bready, lots of caramel. toasty. subtle alc. very little hop aroma. where is the arrogant bastard times two?

App- clear red. tan foam breaks down. no lacing.

Taste- sweet caramel, cloying. some chocolate, raisin, citrus resin. piney and grapefruit. bready, burnt malt flavor. hops and malt clash. strong character, nothing new from stone but not well done.

Mouth- sweet, resin, lingering bitterness. med high carb.

Overall- gets better as it warms. good job from stone but not any better than expected. where is the AB character?

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Photo of kscaldef
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, red brown with a small, filmy head and no retention.

S: Caramel, light citrus, bread pudding and raisins

T: A chewy beer, walking a middle ground between Barleywine, IIPA, and Belgian Strong/Quad (in fruity character, not other esters). Lots of rich malts and moderate hop bitterness in the mid-palate, but not in the finish.

F: Heavy body, medium carbonation. Moderate linger.

O: One of those dangerously drinkable big beers. Not too sweet, not too bitter, just a hint of alcohol bite at the end. Goes down easily.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted oct 30th 2011 (from notes)


A - deep swampy brown, no head and no lacing

S - lots of yeast, very sweet, sweet dried fruits, wine, wet drying wood, soil, nutty, tons of malts, slight vanilla. So sweet smelling. Much more than the taste

T - lots of booze, toasted malts, very sweet, funky yeast, pretty big hops, citrus, nutty, wet wood, red wine, molasses, pine, huge beer. Not half as sweet as last year

M - full bodied, medium acidity, huge complexity, balanced and very long finish

D - tastes great, very bitter and boozy. All around good strong ale. Not for the faint of heart. This is an big beer. With huge flavor

Final thought - $6.50 and 10.5%. Always look forward to this beer every year!

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Three full fingers of rich, whipped brown-sugar head rise to the top quickly. It laces to the glass quite nicely. The beer itself is a murky opaque brown. Large hints of caramel hue in the color as well.

Smell - Smells quite bready and malty. A strong bitter scotch and lemon smell as well. Smells of some kind of fruit that I can;t exactly pinpoint. Smells similar in ways to a doppelbock in terms of malts. Slight chocolate on the nose as well.

Taste - The hop profile is quite delicious and it burns slightly like scotch. The taste is somewhat medicinal to me and reminiscent of a heavily malted Wee--Heavy. Very strong in terms of dark fruit taste. Hints of dark cherries to be more specific. A very faint chocolate that I am perhaps confusing with the dark cherry.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Exceptionally bitter and alcoholic tasting. A slight bourbon-scotch burn accompanied by dark fruits. The medicinal taste got to me at times, but didn't ruin the beer for me. I found myself wanting more of this, but it id not my favorite Stone offering at all.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean looking copper-orange. Slight white head that goes awat pretty quickly. Good lacing and sense of carbonation.

Smell is stringent bitter hops with a little bit of sweetness and dark fruit and a little too much alcohol in the nose for my liking.

Taste is very bitter upfront followed up with a little bit of a hoppy-grapefruit taste and then finishing with a little bit of dark fruit and alcohol. A very intense, at times abrasive taste. Alltogether interesting but i'm not sure how much it compells me to go back to it.

Moutfeel is pretty smooth, the carbonation is evident but not too much for the style.

Overall this is an interesting beer with a lot to take in. I'm just not sure it really offers something I would want to keep going back to. If you are a fan of the style in general, give it a shot.... if you aren't a fan of intense, bitter beers, perhaps you should steer clear. For me, as a one time a year offering, it works, but for beers in this range of abv, i'd much rather have a solid RIS or DIPA.

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Photo of DRjester
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this as a 22oz bomber, poured into a handled pint-size mug. I took it from the refrigerator and let it warm just a bit on the counter (perhaps 10 minutes) before drinking, and then drank it over the course of about an hour.

Appearance: This is for me the strongest point of the beer; it poured cleanly, settling into a nice amber center ranging to bright red-orange on the sides, with nice highlights from the light. It had slightly more than a finger of frothy head, and kept decent lacing. Overall a very appetizing brew.

Smell: The first scent is of sweet fruit, like pineapple, followed by a toffee-like malt smell. As I inhaled a few more times, I was able to detect a subtle but firm presence of floral, earthy hop aromas, as well as a hint of alcohol. So far, so good; at this point I was pretty excited to taste this beer.

Taste: Unfortunately, this is where the beer went a little awry for me. The first taste is fairly sweet, almost like caramel, followed almost immediately by a fairly decent shot of hoppy bitterness. The background is a light but solid bready malt flavor with just a bare hint of tartness. However, the finish had a fairly strong note of grainy alcohol that soured the overall impression for me. While the beer was still somewhat chilly this aspect wasn't too pronounced, but as the brew warmed the alcohol taste grew to the point where it was almost overwhelming by the end of the beer.

Mouthfeel: The beer was full and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation but not too much. However, the relative sweetness of the malt made it come across as syrupy at times.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper because of the high abv, this beer is enjoyable, but I would probably stick to just one. I understand that Strong Ales are going to have a fairly strong alcohol note, but I don't think the Double Bastard does a good enough job of handling that, especially as it warms. I'll put it this way; by the end, the alcohol notes came across less like a good scotch, and more like a shot of cheap whiskey.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 22 oz bottle two ways, in stemless wine glass.

Ar: Pine resin, toasty malt, vegetative hops, alcohol, mild aroma, citrus peel, crisp dry malt, grassy, doughy, alcohol and sweetness increase with warmth.

Ap: Clear beautiful red, off white low head, good retention

F: Alcohol, candy sweetness, caramel, mild fresh hop, slightly vegetative, pleasant resin, hot alcohol, tastes like a fresh hop barleywine, nice maltiness, rich caramel, rather sweet, pine, almost cloying, raisin, malt and hops clash

M: Hot alcohol, medium carbonation, light lingering vegetative bitterness, full/medium mouthfeel, sweetness is a bit overpowering

O: Better than old guardian, but i was expecting more hop character, arrogant bastard tastes hoppier, better as warms, very barleywine-like.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 Release

Beautiful mahogany body with an off white head.

Cherry, candied fruit, brown sugar, molassas. Great nose.

Big, sweet malt base. Brown sugar, butterscotch, cherry; caramelized malt gone wild. But don't worry, there's plenty of hop bitterness too (this is Stone after all). Spicy and floral with notes of citrus. Warming alcohol on the finish.

Rich, sticky, full bodied.

One of the more balanced beers Stone makes. That said, it quite rich and a little sweet and I don't think I could have more than a glass. Maybe I just don't like the flavor profile, maybe this is just too much sweet caramel malt for me, but I do not love this beer. I can appreciate that it is a quality brew, but its just not for me and I have to say, I am a little surprised by how high this beer rates. That said, I have tried some vintage bottles and I loved them.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's a few weeks ago, found this review in my pocket.

A- DB came to me with a rusty ruby and some dark red blotches. Looks like it has a nice build just from looking at it. A dark tan head swirls up creating a creamy layer for some time which fades, but leaves nice lace patches.

S- This smells strong, I believe this was from a 2009 keg and it shows. Big amounts of hop bitterness and the same goes for malt sweetness. I cant help but to whiff out some alcohol. Some pine with caramel, toffee and dark fruits with apple slices. A lot going on here, but not the most balanced.

T- And so it begins, Im blasted by some alcohol burn and some bittering hops with pine and grapefruit punches. The malt is large and sweet but are not quite winning the battle just yet. The finish consists of some fruit along with some earthy hop taste on the tounge.

M- A little rough around the edges at this young state, but for what it's worth, this is a strong beer and right now it's showing off it's guns. The heat and alc need to calm down. Above medium bodied with ample crisp carb.

D- Cant do much with this one with the high ABV. This has the potential to go down or uphill depending on what a few years will do to it. Right now this is good beer, but my score will be revised when I revisit a cellared bottle or tap offering, Im hoping it goes up.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got a bottle of the elusive DB, and it's a doozy.

Pours a very similar color to the AB, and the head and lacing appear to be about the same as well. In other words, it looks spectacular. The nose is very complex and rich with lots of deep rich chocolatey malts and spices. Some hops too.

The flavor is initially very sio the AB, but then it hits you. Very sweet from the get go, and reminds me quite a bit of SN Bigfoot. Finishes very dry, too dry. Leaves me with cotton mouth from the aggressive hops. Leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. It's much more concentrated than the AB and unfortunately, you can taste the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is very slick and full. Glides over the tongue quite easily, but The drinkability suffers a bit due to the hotness of the alcohol, but for the style, it's pretty drinkable I guess. Finishing a bomber myself was a chore, so I would reccomend splitting this with a friend. Overall though, The DB is another exceptionally crafted brew from Stone.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/19/2008 (bottle from AJ's Glendale, AZ-2007 release):

Pours a reddish brown color body, clearish. Big tan head, lasting. Sweet caramel aroma, not as hoppy as the original. Somewhat grapey, effervescent. Caramel taste, not as hoppy. Sweet & malty. Caustic taste, some hops. Dry.

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Photo of jera1350
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a cloudy copper brown with frothy two finger head. Great lacing down the whole glass.

S- Sweet bready, nutty, roasted malt. Slight hop smell.

T- Deep roasted malt. Can really taste the high alcohol in this. Slightly sweet, strong toasted malt, coffee and alcohol aftertaste. Not getting the citrus and hops like others have reviewed. Disappointing!

M- Full bodied, velvety, silky smooth with fine carbonation. Really nice.

D- High ABV and you can taste it from start to finish. One of these is about all I would want.

Maybe a much better beer with some age on it, but did not meet all the hype at all for me.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very cloudy dark amber with a light head. Seems to be rather carbonated. I get a fruity aroma off the beer...maybe cherries? Can't place it. Tastes rather hoppy and alcoholic with fruit oozing through as well. I don't want to hold it in my mouth long due to the alcohol getting a little overpowering. Because of that aforementioned alcohol, its not very bomber of this should be all for the night. Its a nice beer, but I only think I'll get it on special occasions.

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Photo of Zimbo
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Booze. Booze. Booze. In a nutshell, that's what this 2010 version of Double Bastard is all about.

Wouldn't know it when you open it up. The nose is like damp stone and not at all overly intense. Hazy-ish Indian red colour with a hefty number of small bubbles lining the glass. Starts with an impressive one inch magnolia head though it thins and retains some density and smoothness. In the mouth it is very heavy, thick, twisted, rubbery, dry, a trace of dried tropical fruit and brutish. Minimal complexity. Totally booze soaked. The ridiculous alcoholic weight power drives a piledriver to the face where the individual elements are left punch drunk in all that lethal liquid.

Like a 1969 ZL1 Camaro without a steering wheel.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Bobmer 2006 Release

Pours brown with nice ruby hints and about a finger of creamy, slightly off-white head and minimal, spotty lacing. Smell is quite sweet, while there are other aromas present the sweetness is a common theme. Various citrus notes are present with grapefruit and tangerine in the forefront accompanied by other fruity notes namely cherries, apples, and pineapple. At first I'm hit with a veritable wave of malt sweetness. The finish brings a hoppy flavor. Overall the taste is dominated by an alcoholic astrigency that lingers and overshadows the other flavors. Mouthfeel is good, a bit syrupy. Drinkability is ok. Overall I'm not very impressed with this brew. I have another bottle in the cellar and hopefully with another year of so this will mellow out nicely.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Compared to the draft version, I found it to be sweeter, slightly more carbonated, and less complex. Much of this may be due to the age of the brew. I had it one to two months after purchase. Very hazy brown-red with what appears to be lots of particulates. Thin head with moderate retention and no lace. Big caramel aroma. Yes it is hoppy, but there's lots of sugar there, too. Caramel, molasses, raisins, and a good amount of alcohol. The alcohol is definitely there. Not nearly as hidden as the draft version. Medium to medium-heavy body with a moderately tingly mouthfeel.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bomber. snifter. 11.2% on the bottle.

a - pours somewhere between amber and garnet in color, slightly hazy. gave me only a thin film of head and leaves only a few fleeting spots of lacing in the glass.

s - toffee, vanilla, dark fruits, hay, slight fusel alcohol.

t - carmel malt with a strong pine resin hop character (still). some alcohol heat comes in and accentuates the bitterness. as it warms up, notes of vanilla and brown sugar come out, and the pine resin becomes more pronounced. lots of strong flavors here, but they aren't exactly all playing nice together.

m - full in body, medium carbonation, fine co2 profile. slightly syrupy, significant alcohol warming.

o - a solid beer, but seems heavy handed still. maybe this bottle just wasn't stored properly before i purchased it, or maybe it just needs to mellow out for another year or so? i would also like to try a fresher bottle for comparison. will certainly be revisiting this one in the future.

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Photo of charlatan
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was pleasantly surprised to find this on tap at the Horse Brass in Portland.

The smoke in the air rendered any sniff test useless but I was impressed by the beer's dark, dark red appearance. It would perhaps be most instructive to compare this to the now ubiquitous Arrogant Bastard: I noticed more of a berry flavour than with AB, and despite the presence of a disturbing amount of alcohol it seemed a little smoother and just as drinkable. The impression I gained was less roughage, more alcohol. However the alcohol was not so apparent that it ruined the beer which was extremely easy to drain. Fortunately I realised how hammered 20 fluid ounces had made me and didn't risk any more. This is not for the faint of heart.

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Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,045 ratings.