Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

6,300 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,300
Reviews: 2,073
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 444
Gots: 1,142 | FT: 41
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,300 | Reviews: 2,073
Photo of flavorshark
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel it would be ungrateful to spare my sincere if uninformed homage to this life-altering drink.

The scent is unspeakable, the taste bitter up front followed by a complex body I won't try to describe. The 2010 release is 11.2% ABV, increased from last year. Feels like the mating dance of two squirrels made of hops on my pallet. Drinking from a small 6 oz. flared glass, anything larger would be excessive. It will be a while before I finish.

This beer is an event in itself.

Photo of Mosstrooper
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 release poured from 22oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Dark and hazy caramel/amber color with a small brown head that stays for a long time and leaves behind substantial lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit over sweet, buttery malt aromas and floral hops. Also has a hint of sweet tea.

Taste: Bitter all the way- starts toasty and a bit buttery, finishing with a powerful, yet balanced, earthy and herbal bitterness. Notes of sour alcohol and a lingering bitter aftertaste. Hints of sweet tea and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and chewy body with a slight, natural carbonation hint. Dryer finish with warming alcohol. Oh so smooth.

Drinkability: What can I say- this beer is outstanding. The best I've had. Simply the greatest. There is none better.

Wow.

Photo of TATTSNSNAPBACKS
5/5  rDev +17.4%

This too is a great beer! Around Christmas time they release a 3 Litre Bottle! Once bottle is finished you can still bring it into any Stone Brewery and get it refilled!

Photo of becktone
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I chose a hell of a day to do a vertical tasting of 2 year old (2004) Double Bastard with a fresh 2006 one. Been meaning to do this for a while but...well, today is a good day. Finals are over, and it is impressively cool for the month of June here in Cincinnati. Should be much easier to drink with this cool weather today. I don't think that it'd go down too well were it scorching hot.

2006 Eye:Clear copper in color with nice foamy creamy head. Lacing is excellent, and retention is also excellent.
2004 Eye: Color is almost identical with this one having a bit more of a reddish orange hue added to the copper color. It is also cloudy, not close to being clear. Lacing is nice, but head retention isn't all that great, could be the glass though-its been through the dishwasher a few times, what can you do? I usually only review through my specific glass.

2006Nose: Strong malt aroma, evident alcohol with a bit of warming alcohol there as well. As it warms a bit some light hop aromas are starting to come through.
2004Nose: Much the same as the 2007, however more sherry like, alcohol is much more evident, much more potent and stronger than the 2007. Strongly malt focused aroma, some chocolate aromas seem to be there. Reminds me much of SN Bigfoot after a year of cellaring.

2006 Tongue: Hot Damn! I'll admit this is the first time I've had Double Bastard, and after the first sip I'm already in love. What a wash of hops! It was a huge surprise. Didn't expect to be hit in the face with hop flavor and bitterness when it is not evident in the aroma. Floral hops dominate the flavor leaving little room for malt flavor. Alcohol is also there.
2004 Tongue: Much more relaxed. Malt oriented. Aging has taken the hop kick out of this brew. Definite roasted and burnt grain flavors. Not nearly as bitter as the 06. Alcohol is also more upfront, not nearly as neatly hidden, the overwhelming hops of fresh Double Bastard hid the alcohol pretty well, but here it is way out in the open. Sherry like in flavor from oxidation, again reminds me how Bigfoot aged over a year. I have to say that I prefer it fresh, I am however, a hop head. There is still a little hop bitterness right there at the end that is detectable but it quickly fades.

2006 Mouthfeel and Drinkability:Definitely one to sip. Try to guzzle this and I think you might find yourself gagging. Hops are so strong that at first I almost gagged because I wasn't expecting it to be so bitter-dumb me! I forgot all about Arrogant Bastard and Stone....no hops what the hell was I thinking? Didn't get it in the aroma so hey...-Heavy body-thick in the mouth like watery syrup-with light fine carbonation, however it is less than the carbonation of the 2004 vintage. This is a brew that I could sit and drink for a few hours, however, after one or two bombers I think that things might just get out of hand. This is the best beer from Stone that I've ever had, I will always buy this brew, it is that good. The Bastard has set me Free.
2004 Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Pretty heavy in body and with light fine carbonation, warms as it goes down. Thank God its not steaming hot otherwise I don't think I'd be able to drink the 3 Liter bottle Ive got. In my opinion I prefer it fresh, but perhaps one year would be nice when there is more of a balance between hops, malts, and alcohol. Still good though, I mean you can't buy it so.... Really three years of aging has changed this into a completely different beer. In a blind test you might be able to tell that it has been aged, but the same beer, I'm not quite sure.

God, going between these two is hell, as soon as I get used to one I reach for the other and find something completely different. I recommend Double Bastard uncellared and fresh....I will be drunk soon, just finishing this bomber and then the first glass of the cellared might just do it, 10%abv, damn who wouldn't be after a few glasses of this?

Photo of cavedave
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HEY! Pssst. Yes, Stone Double Bastard! I have given this brew the highest rating.

It pours an incredibly thick ruby amber. I hold it to the light. This beer is alive. Fifty degrees and it breathes in my glass. My nose is no where near the glass, but its aroma has found me since I opened the bottle.

The nose is alcohol wrapped through the finest malts' best preserved fragrances. It infiltrates the senses with a morphing mix of intoxicating aroma. It finds the deepest recesses of the nose and tongue. I can taste it in my eyes.

The first sip. WOW! It jolts a massive blast of malt, the finest malt, you know it right away, its full range of tones, that flavor which changes as it runs into the finish, running through bread, caramel, alcohol, through herbal ecstacy, and crests into a wave of balanced bitterness, a swirl of citrus, herbs, alcohol, earth, an amazing mix.

The alcohol is massive in DB. Usually I rate less well if I get a large alcohol presence, especially in strong ales, I'm an English style old ale lover. But here the craft of the brewer is magnificent, the vapor of it sends the swirling milieu of flavor perfectly into a river of changing delight, climaxing in an incredibly long finish that lingers until the next sip, be that sip ten minutes later. It is an achievement, a masterpiece, I can't give higher praise for this champion, imho, of this style. I hope to taste a better one than this, but I doubt I will.

Photo of Double07Inc
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Appearance: Medium brown in color

Smell: The aromatics on this beer are great you can smell the hops, grapefruit, pine and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: This medium bodied beer is great. Good hoppie bitterness and you can taste the chocolate malts and roasted flavors and the alcohol is like a smooth whiskey.

Mouth feel: it goes down smooth, if your not use to hoppie beers, keep to your fuzzy wussies beers like the bottle say, cause your not worthy.

Photo of Trooper92292
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013: an incredible beer. This year is the best.

Photo of tavernjef
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wowee, wow, wow, what a fantastic beer! The beer Gods from Stone have bestowed this upon us for a reason, because to know heaven you must pass through hell! This is pure pleasure and make no mistake you will pay by nights end. Pours a deep firey tawny amber brown, settles a bit darker in the chalice glowing of newly created lava from the earths crust as it procedes to grow a tall, firmly thickened, whipped froth of tannish wonder. Fades ever so slowly like a dieing fire to a thin ring and a hazy skim across the liquid leaving massive sticking amounts of webby laced sheets. Aroma appears stronger then smoke, more like heat from an oven with mounting sweet caramel, lightly burnt, darkened tropical passion fruits, earthy crispness of deep woods pineyness. Malts are king in this world of aroma, ruling with a mighty pitch fork that pokes at the hops as if to say "Ha, ha... Try to take my throne you measly weed". Taste is where it leads you down the path of whats about to become a head full of everything thats tempting. Complexing malts are forest fire big, tons of great semi sweet caramel, thick and thicker yet, flowing in and out of scorched and deeply ripe dark fruityness, pineapple, mango, plum, and raisins bursting within with a light burntness touching everything. Its calmingly smooth and far to creamy for such a fire to burn, but yet it does, and it builds with a wind of hops thats burning up brush of small dwindling pine, dried leaves, and wood. Incredibly balanced bitterness is deep and crackly over the musculature of the big boned skeleton of malts. Alcohol never makes its presense felt til it finds its way to the head where it smokes out any notions of all before it. You remember liking this thing you enjoyed the next day but are now lurking around like a zombie wondering how in the hell did I survive such a dance with the flames of a devil. F*cking great stuff!! Can't wait to dance again with this dark nectar, but not any time soon, as not to become a devils second hand. I hopefully have learned my lesson. Why did they have to put this in a bomber? Much like a devil its always tempting you to take more.

Photo of spitInTheOcean
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

amber copper color. tan/ golden head. good retention. good lacing. crystal clear. i dont know how this beer could look and better.

hops are immediately apparent in the bouquet. citrus aroma. floral aroma. malty sweetness is also very strong. caramel and toffee. and a faint aroma of alcohol. basically the beer smells like its going to taste huge. very nice balance in the aroma between hops and malts.

sweetness from the malts immediately apparent along with warmth of the alcohol. finish is bitter bitter bitter. and FULL of hop flavors of citrus and grass clippings. i dont think that this beer has aged any, the bottle says 2011, but i seem to taste sherry. overall the flavor is just big. balanced and not lacking in anything. the middle is sweet and bitter at the same time. hoppy and malty at the same time.

thick and syrupy. big mouthfeel. soft carbonation.

yea this beer is about perfect. i dont know what else to say. definitely one to keep about twenty of in the cellar.

Photo of dpjosuns
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this exceptional brew on draft at a recent tasting/release at my favorite bar here in Ann Arbor.

A- A very pronounced Amber color. It actually appears to be a bit lighter (in color) than the Arrogant Bastard.

S- This is the first punch in the mouth. Naturally, the first aroma that hits you is the hops and boy is it a hit. After the initial hop aroma there is plenty of citrus, but not in a bitter way, the hops take care of that. It almost seems more like a ripe orange or perhaps pineapple, rather than lemon.

T- This is the 2 of the 1-2 punch this brew hits you with. The taste is out of this world. It has the huge hop taste and flavor of an Imperial IPA with more sweetened malt balance. This is one that can be savored. I really like that it is big and heavy like an Imperial, but with amazing balance.

M- The feel is obviously malty. It is nice and smooth. With some beers of this gravity, I feel they can have a tendency leave an almost abrasive feel in your mouth, but this does not occur here.

D- I love drinking this beer. It has a great aftertaste that stays with you, while still enticing your for more.

Photo of unclederby
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This years version.

This baby smells like candy...

Poured into my oversized wine glass a clear amber with with a nice fluffy 3/4 inch head which didn't stay around long but left sticky lacing on the glass. Some carbonation in the body but mostly all the activity was up top. Beautiful.
A really large bouqet: tons of malt, estery qualities, caramel, pine, alcohol, and biscuity... really just so much going on that it tickles the nose.
The taste really lives up to the promise in the bouquet. This is just one flavorful monster. Sweet and malty backbone, with notes of currant, oak, vanilla and a good blast of hops on the finish, which serve to give it excellent balance. Alcohol is perceptible for sure, but it is very well integrated and never really dominates.
This brew has plenty of body. Resiny, creamy and slick, it's a strong ale (barleywine?) that leaves nothing to be desired.
I'm not sure how much of this i could drink in one sitting, but i know i could drink a bomber a day it's so damn good.
Worth every penny of the $4.99 i paid for the 22oz. and i most certainly will go in for a case of this stuff.
I would give it a perfect score if not for my murky interpretation of "drinkibilty". On second thought, screw it - it's not meant for sessioning anyway...

caution: it taste so damn good but it will kick your ass. for real.

.

Photo of oriononefortyfour
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It made by Stone. ...nuf said

Photo of patobandito
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't even know how to begin. This is beyond my meager capabilities to review. Amazing Beer.

Pours a deep brown with a thin head and moderate lacing. Smells a bit hoppy but heavy malt. Earthy, sweet smell. Taste is indescribable but I am going to try. Earthy malts dominate the first impression followed by a perfect amount of bitter hops and pine flavor to balance this beer exquisitely.

This beer is not for the faint of heart. Its definitely a strong motha of a brew. Best decision I have made at the liquor store this year. Almost wanted to weep when I drank the last drop.

Photo of DeathbySexyBT
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This truly is the pinnacle of brewing perfection. There are no words to describe just how sad I was that this was not approved for retail sale in Texas. You will not taste a beer better than this...ever.

A: Reddish brown. Almost rust-like, but with more of a gemstone glow. Eggshell colored bubbles that seem to cycle through the glass. Perfect lacing.

S: Spicy caramel. Some Citrus. Alcohol. Heaven.

T: Is there a word for 'smoother than smooth?' I would start by saying that this is a truly robust beer that requires multiple tastings as you will discover new layers of complexity. Some of the random ones I have discovered include caramelized sugar, pineapple, and hops.

M: The alcohol creates a very high warming factor. Dry and bready, but still very smooth.

D: Take water. I want this to fill the ocean!

Served: Trappist glass.

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 poured from 22 oz into a snifter. This is one of my favorite beers, and the beer that GOT me into craft beer. I've had it many times and not sure I'm rational about it.

A: Pours a Deep Amber. Able to see it through it, but it looks glorious. Slightly cloudy with little head.

S: I think I can smell this across the room. Very strong sweet dark fruits, getting cherries, and a strong booze smell.

T: Ohhh the taste. Close to perfection in a non stout that you can get. Sweet but slams with the bitter at the end. Some brown sugar and caramel in there as well if you dare to let it sit on your tongue.

M: Sticky, andfull bodied. This year's is very boozy and I will let my other bottles sit a bit to calm down...

O: I love this beer. Its fantastic and a must try.

Photo of MVotter
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell from the top of the freshly opened bottle - pine

This one was poured from a 22 oz. bomber with the familiar, incredible artwork adorning the bottle.

Nice, thick sounding pour down the middle of a pils glass features an exploding, quick rising cream/tan head. The head settles back to two fingers within a few minutes. The brew is a slightly foggy, deep amber.

Smell from the glass - very interesting combination of hops and malts ... smelling sweet malts here!

Taste - um, holy crap. Hops for sure, but not bitter ... the smoothest tasting hop flavor greets you in the beginning, then the malts make an entrance, and it's sheer joy; a party on your palate. It's paired with such a delicious blend of malts ... the balance is stunning. Really.

The mouthfeel is thick, silky ... silky ... silky. Did I mention that the mouth is silky?

Drinkability. Well, pace yourself ... don't be a fooo! Relish this brew ... don't think you're entering into this relationship without any responsibility. Relax. Enjoy. Savor, every ounce.

This brew lives up to its billing. It's creation is the result of the tender care of true artisans.

The only other brew that I have rated at "perfection" is Ommegang's Abbey Ale.

I understand that a perfect score is reserved for truly exceptional brews. Well, I can see no good reason to deny this one a perfect score. And, I believe that the truly exceptional brews should be recognized as such, and duly rewarded.

Bravo!

Photo of jgurley
4.99/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tasting snifter. Glowing, slightly opaque amber color. Full tan and rocky head. Good lacing down the glass. Taste is surprisingly fruity and hoppy with good caramel character across the middle and citrusy throughout. Sticky but very drinkable mouthfeel. Booze is prominent while not overpowering, though it is very warm in the belly. Aftertaste is pleasantly bitter yet refreshing. A REAL pleasure to drink! Excellent pair with salty or spicy foods, not sweets. DELICIOUS and overall excellence. BRAVO!

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow this is fantastic. Nice dark woody amber color, nice head with nice lacing. Smell is fruity and hoppy. Taste is just exceptional. Smooth and clear and refined. More fruity and sweet than most Stones I've had - actually not as strong or extreme as I expected. I think the Arrogant Bastard is actually more extreme, but this is more complex, for sure. The balance is exceptional - all the flavors and the alcohol are blended perfectly. Feel is thick and creamy, and the alcohol is hidden well. I'll be getting many more of this and saving them.

Photo of bogus564
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

My beer fridge is currently chock full of beers I haven’t had before, so consequently, I have to drink and review them, not just drink them. Sometimes, I’d rather just knock a good one down, but here I go…please disregard the complaining. My apologies. One should not bitch about having a full beer fridge.

A: Oh my, this beer could be somebody. It’s dark amber in color, and opaque; you can’t see through it, and it’s scaring me. In a good way, that is. The head is light tan in color, 2 cm with a decent pour, and holds for more than two minutes (my benchmark for a good head) before dissolving into lace. I’m optimistic; looking forward to getting my nose into this one.

S: Oh wow, this beer smells like somebody. I’ve been drinking low-ABV lagers, building my tolerance up after fighting cancer, and now I’ve got a beer that I can tell could be big league. At first, I’m getting a blend of caramel, prunes and citrus hops, most likely grapefruit or blood orange. Not only that, the smells are powerful, rather than weak or hanging out in the background; it’s really in-your-face. Me likey!

T: Oh. My. God. Ach. Mein. Gott. Ay. Dios. Mio. O. Mon. Dieu. This beer is fantastic in thirty six languages. I can taste everything I smelled, in the best proportions I’ve experienced in quite some time. I can also taste the alcohol, which, in this case, is welcome. It’s more sweet than bitter, which I find surprising, but amazing. I’m so glad I was smart enough to eat something beforehand; this beer packs a bit of a wallop. I don’t know how to put this, other than to describe it as rich. Oh yeah!

M: Outstanding. This is the first beer I’ve had in a long time that I wish were neverending. Folks, it’s that freakin’ good. It’s full-bodied, it’s just about perfectly carbonated, the palate does the Electric Slide, or headbangs, or gives thanks to Tim Tebow, or does the coolest thing you can imagine. My palate is currently air-guitaring Side 1 of Rush’s ‘2112’ album. And the finish is unbelievably dry, especially given how sweet this beer is. Get your party on! You are NOT ready for this!

O: I’m not a hipster, or one who knocks beers just to knock them. When I taste a beer like this, I stand up and take notice, like when I see Martin Brodeur standing on his head to give the Devils a win. This beer displays sheer artistry, and is applause-worthy. Damn great beer. Next time I drink this, I’m cooking a big ol’ batch of fried chicken, and eating and drinking myself into Valhalla. Until the next time, everybody!

Photo of LFHaines
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best part of living near and working in Escondido, California is Stone Brewery. Not only is the beer great, but they have a full service restaurant with equivalent tasting food.

I have been to the brewery, done the tour and have tried all of the various Stone brews except Double Bastard. Up to this point, Arrogant Bastard was my favorite. Not any more.

By far, the Double Bastard is the best.

When I opened the 22 oz. bomber, I could smell the complex mixture of hops and malt. I detected overtones of pine and grapefruit. I poured the beer into a standard 20 oz. beer glass and watched as the magical stream filled to the top.

This beer has ruined me for ordinary, proletariat weak yellow beer made by the billions of gallons for the yearning masses. [not that AB hadn't already done that!].

There's no going back. But there is going forward. I think I will go out to the Stone Brewery this weekend and try this on tap!

Photo of AlexJ
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, I finally caved and opened a bottle of 03 that I've been stashing. It pours a magnificant amber red that glows from within. A brief head of wheat colored foam erupts to a chunky peak before receding into a ring around my tulip glass. Lace is adequate and clumpy.

A gentle swirl releases a bouquet of delight! Caramel infused rum balls and singed creme brulee'. Dark, moist fruit cake with dates, figs, cherries, bananas, and pinapple. An array of floral, citrus, and pine-drenched hops bring up the rear. I was anticipating a more subtle hops aroma. If Stone has taught me one thing, it's to expect the enexpected! Alcohol is evident, but well infused into the mix.

WOW! This beer is insane! It begins with toasty caramel malts, buttery English toffee, oak, vanilla, yellow raisens, tropical fruits, and malted milk balls. A tsunami of hops quickly washes over! An oily, resinous, thick coating of pine-drenched grapefruit, tangerine, and sweet florals takes me for a long, smooth ride. A superbly crafted alcoholic rush reminds me of the strength. Be warned, you could drink this all night!

The mouthfeel is epic. Like hop infused melted butter. It is thick, viscous, and absolutely paints your mouth with layers of flavor. The carbonation is like silk on your tongue. There is a long finish filled with a multitude of hop flavors. I'll accept a bitch-slapping from this Bastard any time! None better! Good, good, good!!!

Photo of Morris729
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright rust-brown color with some ruby highlights and a creamy tan head. Nose is incredible with aromas of tropical fruit and pineapple, rich caramel, roasted malt, piney hops, and spicy alcohol. Taste begins quite sweet with notes of brown sugar and rich caramel followed by some buttery toffee. Grapefruit rind and piney hops come out in a big way towards the finish along with some unsweetened chocolate. Full-bodied and oh so creamy smooth. In fact, this is possibly the smoothest 10% ABV beer I’ve ever had the privilege to drink. Magnificent. Thanks to beerdiablo for the sample!

Photo of 3nlightenedfool
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My bottle reads 10.5% as well.

This beer is a kick in the teeth by the finest woman in the world. For a hop lover it's there for you in true IPA fashion, but this is no IPA...this is a double and as such it's more like a sweet hop wine. This is one of the best double IPA's I've had. The malts are there and they don't disappoint for those who like a smooth beer, but the hops are the driving flavor and aroma. I feel like it could use a tad more carbonation, hence the 4.5 on the mouthfeel, but seriously....that changes as the beer sits anyway so maybe it really deserves a perfect score.

I never poured the beer into a glass because I don't care what it looks like. If you drink beer for it's appearance you are...well I'd better not say.

Photo of atsprings
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage served at the Stone NC launch party! 10oz pour into a goblet. Served a hazy dark orange with a lasting frothy head. The aroma was pine hops slightly overpowering caramel malts. The taste was a wonderful balance of burnt caramel and pine hops that only got better as it warmed. The beer had very well hidden alcohol, there was some stickiness and warmth, but not what you'd expect for 10%. This is an absolutely wonderful beer, and this tasting shows that it ages very well, too.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[2004 release]

As with the Double Bastard's cousin Arrogant Bastard, D.B. strikes me as a hybrid of several more easily definable styles, mixing elements of Barleywines, Strong Belgian Dark Ales and Double IPAs. And I ain't complaining...this is the STUFF.

Pours a caramel/amber color crowned with a creamy head that foams like and then forms a light dollop of whipped topping. Modest bubble activity and good-looking but scattered lace.

Smells rich without being overly sweet, lotsa caramel, ripened dark fruits, toffee, grapefruit and...more gooey hot caramel.

Flavors are many--see list of aromas above for the details, and add subtle coffee bean and pineapple to those. Two things impress the most: the insane complexity of the malts and the extremely well-hidden alcohol. The malts here are rich and candy-like without having any kind of cloying sweet-tooth overkill. Just pure pleasure. As for the alcohol %, it doesn't bowl me over with warm vapors the way most 10%+ beers do. This lets those well-balanced flavors breathe and impress. The rich, creamy, velvety feel in the mouth only adds to the huge drinkability and enjoyment factor. [The hops are dialed down in this, compared to a fresh batch (this is a couple years aged); fresher DBs I've had incorporate big pine-like hop character right alongside its other wonderful traits.]

oh man oh man oh man...oh wow. This is a freaking GREAT beer. Period. If we ever have children, the kid's name is Stone. Boy or girl. True dat.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,300 ratings.