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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.

5,640 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,640
Reviews: 1,978
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 357
Gots: 750 | FT: 25
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: 5,640 | Reviews: 1,978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SQNfan
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was copper with some plum and had a head that dissipated quickly. The nose showed sweet caramal, plum, stewing raisins, spice and orange. In the mouth it was medium to full-bodied with good malt richness with balancing hops. The palate was not as dilineated as the nose and showed more chocolate and coffee than the nose. It was also sweeter as the malt showed stronger. This should age well but is great now if in the mood for a sweet malty beer.

SQNfan, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of jdense
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured into St. Bernardus chalice 1/9/2010.

1/2 finger white head, quick dissipation and minimal lacing. Copper reddish clear amber body. Certainly has a barleywine type nose, sweet, not much smoke in initial whiff, nice hop presence, piney and citrus. As it warmed up the smoke became more pronounced in the nose. The taste is dominated by sweetish caramel malts, a bit of fruit, Rainier cherries, and pear, smoke and a bit of leather. Not the most carbonated of beers. Pretty drinkable for this high ABV, but one bomber is sufficient. I thought this was nicely balanced, certainly a step up complexity wise from 'regular' Bastard. Would like to see how this taste after a bit of aging. I knew there was a reason I'd stashed that 2006 bottle.

jdense, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of xav33
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Double Bastard Ale
3 Liter bottle
Medium pour in a tulip glass
Brewed winter 06, consumed 01/07

Poured a clear ruddy brown and amber with a yellowish beige fizzy somewhat diminishing head with good lacing.

Smelt of canned pineapple, citrus grapefruit with moderate tutti frutti , sucre d'orge, and light spruce, pear and banana.

Taste was upfront strong bittersweet pineapple and light gelatin and barley sugar followed by a strong/harsh bitter sweaty spruce and pine with light cinnamon and clove spiciness on a long finish. Palate was medium bodied, softly carbonated, oily, moderately alcoholic and strongly astringent.

Overall, opening a bottle of this size is an occasion itself, and the contents do not disappoint with great bold flavors and aromas.

xav33, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of katan
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz into a pint - yikes

A - Pours a dark red, to pretty much ruby color. Strong head formation, eggshell, breaking down to about a 1mm head. Lots of bubbling.

S - Whoa a malty Stone beer. Huge amounts of sweet, caramel, toasted malt, toffee, maybe even a raisin or two. It just screams: Red ale. After more huffing, I can now get some floral hopping.

T - Starts off malty, very innocent. Boom, the comes in a super strong malt profile of caramel and a boat load of floral hopping. Bitterness takes over - for this malt bill is insane. stays somewhat balanced through the finish, sticky, more caramel and toffee. A huge huge beer.

M - Strong body, moderate carbonation. All results in a very full bodied beer. Somewhat stingy on the carbonation at times. Beer is overall very heavy. Huge oily finish on the tongue.

D - I don't know how to define drinkability on this beer. It is frightening. It will hurt you. The Bastard is already scary, this is doubly scary. A bit cloying at times, not very filling , a bit too over the top - probably how i would take it. Share this beer - please.

This is one lacerative mother of an ale - bottle quote. They are not kidding.

katan, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of wrycon
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark and murky orangish-brown. Looks sinister. Robust malt nose underpinned by some floral hop notes. Man, is this good. Sweet, sweet malts up front. Slightly caramel, slightly toasted. Just when the malt feels like it might be too much, a truckload of hops jump on that rocket and both shoot into space. The hops don't attempt to balance the malt, but rather speak louder to create a hugely flavorful brew.

Like It? Oh Yes

wrycon, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of racer2k
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured contents of bomber into a tulip glass

A - Beer pours a dark brown / mahogany color and has a bubbly carbonated characteristic which is present during the initial pour. A one fingered off white sticky head coats my glass leaving plenty of lacing to work with as it settles down.

S - Sweet caramel malt and moderate hops are present. Citrus fruit, molasses and a moderate dose of earthy hops are all present. Nicely balanced flavors.

T - Very nice malt bill that is extremely well balanced with the aggressive hop profile. The toasted nutty caramel malt and molasses compliment the strong earthy citrus hop flavors quite well. The alcohol is hardly recognizable except a bit at the end of the taste.

M - Light carbonation, flavorful hops and a slightly warming alcohol feel in the mouth. The malt and hops are one in this beer which is quite impressive given the aggressive 10.5% abv profile.

D - Very drinkable beer aside from the 10.5% abv which catches up to you quickly. I really enjoyed the balance of this beer and the lively flavorful hops. I will definitely have to hunt this one down again soon.

racer2k, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Jyppy, 2008 release. Into the Goose Island IPA tulip...

A - Nice tawny color with flufy mocha tan head, over two fingers worth. Some retention, some lacing.

S - Toffee and hazelnut sweetness and semi-sweet chocolate create the backbone for this surprisingly balanced aroma. Coffee like roasted bitterness balances it out, with a bite pineapple bite. Textbook for style.

T/M - Again picking up toffee and chocolate in the malt, which is rendered very mild after the huge hopping that followed. Quite fruity, with lots of pineapple and some strawberry. Finishes very bitter, with some lingering espresso. Mouthfeel is almost barleywine-esque.

D - Have to say, this is by far the best Stone product I've had so far. No real complaints, just a nice, big example of an American Strong Ale.

SammyDavisJrJrJr, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of abfraser
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, dark red, with a massive tan head. Lacing that lasts the entire glass. Beautiful beer

S: Pineapple and tropical fruit. Some hoppy piney aromas and a big sugary malt background

T/M: Nice big sugary/syrupy malt that isn't cloying at all. Tropical flavors are there and, shockingly, the hops aren't overwhelmingly bitter on the finish. This is a smooth drinker. I can't believe its 10%. Nice full creamy body, great balance

D: Seriously wish this wasn't 10% and I could actually have more than a bottle.

Awesome beer. Just teeters on the edge of being over the top but somehow it all sings. I would have thought the hops would be overwhelming in this one. They're definitely present, but overall the beer is very well balanced. At first taste, I thought the sugar would be too much. No again. Pretty big testament that Stone was able to cram all of this in here and not have something throw it off.

abfraser, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of WickedSluggy
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

When I had it fresh 2010 Double Bastard seemed a different beer to my previous experiences with the beer - alcohol presence was much more noticeably, and hops character was not as outstanding as with previous years.

Now, in September it's more drinkable. I cellard in my cold cellar 45 degrees. It is now a luscious beer with a complex nose. Alcohol, still noticeable. Malty aroma is nice, and it is not overly oxidized (have had overly oxidized DB off the shelves. The flavor is a bitter and malty (good balance) with quite a bit of cherry and caramel. Mouth feel is velvety. Wow, I am glad I saved most of these.

WickedSluggy, Sep 16, 2011
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 deadonhisfeet
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling. Poured into a Lost Abbey Teku. It pours a slightly hazy, reddish-amber color with a nice head that has some good retention considering the high ABV and lacing that practically coats the entire inside of the glass. This beer has a fabulous nose. It smells like over-ripe peaches, oranges, and pineapples mixed with rum-soaked cherries. I also pick up notes of marmalade and toast. Yummy!

The beer has a full body and a slick, velvety feel. When they call this a ``strong ale'', they aren't kidding. Sticky, syrupy flavors of sweet malt and toast greet you up front. The sweetness is very well-balanced with a nice mix of bitter, resiny hops and an alcohol warmth that nibbles at you from mid-palate on down. I'm getting flavors of biscuity maltiness, fruity esters providing hints of orange marmalade and cherries, and a bit of diacetyl. Lots of obnoxious booziness on the finish, but I don't mind. In this beer, you just know it's intentional.

This is an excellent beer, but it's definitely not something I would want to drink more than once per year. It's super-strong, but for my palate it doesn't have the complexity of Lukcy Basartd or the drinkability of Oak-Aged Arrogant Bastard. Still, I'm awfully glad I tried it.

deadonhisfeet, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of Jammies
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-pours a pale reddish brown with a thin layer of foam that lingers

S- sweet and slightly caramelly

T-sweet and exceptionally well balanced for a double. A light caramel taste is detectable

M- slightly malty. light and a little thin

O-great double, one of my favorites

Jammies, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004 bomber obtained from Vintage Cellar.

Wow! This is much different than I remembered it. Much darker with less of a citric taste, and more of a bitter, raisin/fig barleywine taste than I recall. The beer I remember was much more drinkable, but of course this was just after previously splitting a bottle of Stone Russian Imperial Stout with mentor and Woody (the owner of the local beer joint, The Sanctuary). Not to say I don't think it is just as mindblowing of a beer, but it really goes to show how the time & place affect the experience so much.

...Anyways, on to the review of the beer in front of me. This is a very deep maroon color with a bit of a red haze and a decent carbonation that forms a weak white head. Looks great, and just how I'd expect my barleywine to look.

The smell is very fruity and malty, and the hops are plentiful enough to sense the bitterness through the nostrils. Quite intense. I almost can't quit huffing it, but alas, I'm so parched that I need to take another drink.

The taste is of dark fruits and an assload of hoppy bitterness. A bit of a malty and/or yeasty earthy flavor in the initial taste. This bastard is killing my tongue! There's no way I'd be able to review another beer after this, but just for the hell of it, I'm going to see how an Alpha King will follow this up; of course, if I'm still able to drink after this beast..!

The mouthfeel is intensely bitter with a heavy, but not chewy, mouthfeel. The alcohol is definitely there, and leaves an intensely dry finish. This is definitely a sipper, but a damn good one.

neonbrown82, Sep 10, 2005
Photo of robbyc1
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy amber, nice highlights, with solid 1 1/2 off white head, great lace all the way down.

Smell has fresh hop nose, spicy, amarillo or similar hops. Nothing special just nice.

A hop bite up front, with a solid backbone of maltiness, and a slight alcohol burn at the finish, strong ale for sure, not quite a barleywine as some have said. I've had the Arrogant Bastard which I think I like just as much as this one. Both are nicely balanced. Maybe I was simply expecting more here. It has a good not great strong ale flavor, much easier drinkability than it should at 10%.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, and the finish is very nicely balanced between spicy dry and sweet. Intriguing. I'm going to say that this stands up to Bells Old Ale, but I'd take Bell's over this.

robbyc1, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of UA8
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a translucent ruby brown with a two finger off white head.

S- A kick to the face of fresh sliced pineapple opens the nose. This is back by citrus notes and a slight malt character and touch of released alcohol.

T- Opens with sweet pineapple and grapefruit peel mid palate hints of the high ABV and it finishes with big grassy hops. Very nice profile but I suspect that this beer could be layed down and would develop even further.

M- Medium full body with light carbonation.

D- This is a really solid brew however I feel like it has not reached its full potential the flavors are somewhat subdued and seem like there should be more going on. Still a recommended brew. But possibly better with aging.

UA8, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of Spineypanda
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.
Pours a strong red in color with a good lacy and foamy head.
Smells of intense alcohol and spices. Sweetness comes through as an almost overly ripe grapes doused in vodka smell.
Taste is explosive. The hops are present but not overly accentuated as a flavor and more as bitterness. Chocolate notes are up front with an almost a brandy filled taste.

Confusing and hard to write about but still enjoyable!

Spineypanda, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of cutout
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Average to small head light brown excellant lacing after each swallow

S-Bready malts,grapefruit hops,with a hint of pine

T- Full bodied taste with a creamy to almost sticky texture,average carbonation and a delightful bitter finish.

M- Is heavy but heavenly the piney and bready flavors linger long after you swallow.

D- This is not for the faint of heart,I can not wait see to how the ones I am cellaring will be next year.

cutout, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of jrenihan
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated October 19, 2012.

Beer pours a clear amber hue. Large off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

Nose contains a big sweet caramel malt scent, along with wood. Mixed with that is lots of pine resin and citrus. Really an example of strong malt and hops, with neither really dominant.

Taste is like the nose. Caramel malt, burnt toffee and wood. Lots of pine and citrus. Both malt and hop result in huge flavours. The alcohol is noticeable but not unpleasant. Quite bitter.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Oily.

Overall, very good. A big beer for sure.

jrenihan, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Zraly
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've had this bad boy fresh and love it as such (easily 4.50/5.00). However, I wanted to see how one would age and thus I am reviewing the 2011 edition.

Pours a dark, burnt amber color with a two finger off-white head. Soft ruby highlights. It's a very pretty color and extremely attractive in a snifter.

The nose opens up with a touch of sherry. At first, this concerned me that oxidization set in and ruined what was once a fine ale. However, my concern was quelled. While it does have a slight sherry presence, there is still hops pulling through, and the malt stands on its own.

Dark fruits and piney, citrus hops play lead. The hops are still capable of crushing your palate a bit, but in a svelte way. Smooth and lacks the hotness that is present when it is fresh. For this reason, I'd say the aged version is slightly easier to drink so long as you are willing to forgo the deep, fresh hop flavor. However, by doing so, its power is yielded a bit.

Depending on your poison, you can drink this young to get the full hop bomb effect or age it for a while and watch it transform into something akin to a barleywine. Excellent either way. Great with blue cheese, honey, and crackers. A great sipper.

Zraly, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of flagmantho
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich tawny brown with a nice cloudiness, one finger of light tan foam atop. It looks pleasing.

Smell: rich, sweet malt aroma with hints of plums. Hops are big, peppery, spicy and a little floral. Quite nice.

Taste: whoa. Malt is very big with a flavor of plum-tobacco hard candy. This beer is quite sweet. Hops are as in the aroma, although they seem a little more floral than peppery here. It's hard to compete with this malt. Alcohol is quite present. Overall, very good, but very ... big.

Mouthfeel: thick, heavy, syrupy with very little carbonation. A nice mouth-coating leaves plenty of opportunity to revel in the flavor. Very little carbonation on this bad boy.

Drinkability: I must not be worthy. It is delicious but HUGE in flavor and alcohol. Screw brandy, Saint Bernards should carry casks of this stuff to stranded Alpine skiers.

flagmantho, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of HoppyInfidel
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz. into a pint glass. Hue was dark amber, with a slight head, tan in color. The ale's malt held up nicely to what could have been overpowering hops. Finished bitter. The diatribe on the back of the bottle made for an entertaining read during the imbibing. Would drink this one again -- have yet to meet a Stone brew I didn't like.

HoppyInfidel, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of ncstateplaya
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a beautiful dark amber that is actually pretty hazy. A great almond colored head that seemed extremely frothy, and looked great next to the amber ale. The head receeds to about 1/8" and leaves abundant lacing.

The hops were dominant in the nose. It smelled fruity, but I wouldn't say citrusy...more like pears or apricots. It was actually a very inviting smell.

I thought this beer tasted pretty woodsy and bitter. Pine flavors are right there with the bitterness. An eye opening taste would be a good explanation. The alcohol is detectable, but minimal compared to what I was expecting @ 10.5 ABV.

The bitterness lasts well beyond the smooth swallow. It has a nice puckering and drying effect. My mouth is definitely waiting for the next quenching rinse. My mouth is dry and my tongue has a slight arousal, tingle from the carbonation.

This beer is very drinkable. The alcohol will be your limiting factor. I can easily say that I would be drunk before I got my fill of this well crafted ale. The great flavors with a smooth character is dangerous.

ncstateplaya, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of BirdFlu
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a very nice dark brown, amber with thick, foamy head which hangs around a bit. Is the same color as its brown bottle.
The immediate aroma is quite hoppy. Not to the extent of, say, a DIPA, but hoppy nonetheless with just a hint of sweetness behind it.
The flavor is a blend of hop and malt sweetness, but to use the word "balance" here is misleading.. While they are both present, the hop certainly is at the forefront and again in the aftertaste. The malt sweetness is just laying under the initial hoppiness while you swallow. The aftertaste is a little too hoppy/spicy/acidic for my liking.
Mouth is moderate. A bit caramel-like, but, again, I didn't care for the aftertaste.
OVerall its a nice drink.. its not really a hop beer like, again, a DIPA or such... it is quite bitter, though.

BirdFlu, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of pheurton
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 edition tasted in May '04: opaque burnt sienna topped with a cake-like toffe colored head. sticky webs of cream colored lace coat the glass. huge malty aroma of pineapple, mangos, and crystallized sugar with a pine needle undertow. steady carbonation. thick and full bodied yet still quite zippy....an admirable acomplishment. massive screaming avalanche of malt flavor flexes its muscle. tropical fruit and crystal malt flavor dominate. spicy resinous hop bite in the end ties this package together. underlying piney hop flavor remains ever constant in the background. zero citrus character. alcohol stays hidden for the most part, but with the searing characteristics of this brew, that ABV is never far out of mind. the mouth stays coated with crystallized sugar and resinous hop flavor long after the glass has been put down.

massive and not for the weak of heart, this beer is well put together and managable for its sheer enormity. bucketloads of flavor. a must try for any big-beer lover.

pheurton, May 31, 2004
Photo of infi
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release, 22 oz. bomber. Shared with BA brun.

Poured into a tumbler.

Pours a murky brown-red color that releases a tan/light brown head that slowly dissipates to a thin and loosely bubbled cap, with little to no lacing on the glass. Smell is immensely malty with a strong and sugary dark fruitiness towards the back-end. Huge candied sugared aromas, which overpowers any hoppy presence in the aroma. Something notably new, especially compared to regular Arrogant Bastard.

Taste is initially sweet and malty, but then ends on a huge earthy and piney bitterness from the hops. Truly double the hops and malts in every aspect. The bitterness is especially notable in the flavor profile. The 10.5% is quite noticeable in every sip too. As the glass warms, the fruitiness and candied sugars become even more prominent and the hop bitterness becomes a bit more muted and less as prevalent towards the end. Quite an experience for a monster beer.

Mouthfeel is beautifully smooth and full-bodied, considerably more than original AB. Considerable bitterness towards the end, but not too overpowering. Drinkability is a bit moderate, especially for how bitter and boozy it is. It might be rough for some people and yet desirable for others. A totally different monster from AB. Really worth a try nonetheless.

infi, Aug 23, 2010
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,640 ratings.