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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

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

6,167 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,167
Reviews: 2,043
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 422
Gots: 1,047 | FT: 34
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: 6,167 | Reviews: 2,043 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Avagadro
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice garnet color with an orange-ish head that holds up well. This beer is very clear.

S: Lots of aroma present. American hops ( centennial perhaps? ) and ethyl alcohol are out in the open.

T: Very strong. I haven't had a beer like this since Founder's Devil Dancer. Very hoppy all the way through with a hint of ethanol at the end. Pretty basic flavor but it is very intense.

M: Medium body and a fair amount of carbonation. Tingles on the tongue.

D: I couldn't imagine drinking more than one of these. This is huge in every department, it could use a few years aging before being bottled. It's good, but I feel it's alittle unbalanced. It needs alittle more maltiness to it to counteract the immense amount of hops.

Photo of ralree
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear and dark red with a slightly tan head. 2-fingers, slowly edging down to half a finger, and holding steady. Great looking beer.

S: This one is very aromatic, especially when pouring. Sticky brown sugar, dark fruit abound, a lot of alcohol burn. This is a serious beer.

T: Nice hoppy flavor with lots of dark fruit backing, some spiciness. Wow - the bitterness really kicks in after swallowing. Alcohol is very present, but acceptable. Slight smokiness in the aftertaste (just barely).

M: Feels good in the mouth. Kinda chewy, a little astringent, great carbonation.

D: Drinks well, but not for the faint of mouth. Not a good first beer to try!

Photo of OskarL
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy with yeast particles, amber red color with a brownish head that leaves lacing.

Smell - Fruity, mostly dark sweet fruits and fudge.

Taste - A lot sweeter than the smell! Fudge and wweet malt with the same dark fruits and finishes with a long lingering bitterness that I find a bit overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Full body with soft carbonation and smooth to drink.

Photo of sudsellier
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as I saw this one in the cooler (for the first time ever in our small-ish market) I grabbed one without hesitation. I've been such an ardent fan of Stone and the Arrogant Bastard that there was no way I was going to bed tonight without knowing...

A: Poured out a nice light mahogany (in my Stone "Fizzy Yellow Beer is for Wussies" pintglass... knew I scored it for a reason!) with about a half-inch head of creamy, meringue-colored lattice... mostly small, dense bubbles with some larger forming around the outsides. Even coloration all throughout.

S: When you go to that favorite fancy restaurant of yours... you know the one... you always get the creme brulee even though you think to yourself, "A real DUDE doesn't order Creme Brulee! Eff it... I'm getting the CREME BRULEE!" The caramalized sugar on top of your favorite sissy-girl dessert... that's the smell here but with a noticible hop spiciness. That'll begin to put the hair back on your chest. You big nancy...

T: More toasty caramel with a nice, brassy hop tang. Slight touches of vanilla, oak, just-barely-burnt apple... ok, ok... I've got a wicked sinus infection right now... my palate's off a tad. Not noticing any alcohol heat despite the 10.5% abv. Rich, dark hop flavors with enough sweet malt backbone to cut through the bitters and leave a perfectly-balanced brew. Think of Stone's Ruination with a suntan.

M: Strong-enough malt presence gives this one a nice, rich texture. Carbonation is even throughout without one thinking they've got Pepsi in their mug fizzing away.

D: Yes. Someone who knows me please buy me more for Christmas. And while they're at it....

Photo of biophiliadude
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap to a brandy snifter.

A: dark brown, very cloudy. red in the light.

S: Bitter flowers.

T: hops and hops and hops!!! caramel and cherrys

M: tickles, becomes smooth.

D: A hop-heads dream. bitter and floral and layers of sweetness in between sips. A well made beer that I would have again when the hop bug bites! Recommend!

Photo of bbothen
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel color with a nice 2 finger bubbly head. Lacing that looks like it was glued to the glass.

Smells of piney hops, booze, citrus hops and a big caramel like sweetness. Bastardly indeed.

A strongarm of a boozy punch, crisp hop bitterness, waves of sweet toffee & caramel.

Smooth, creamy, warms as it goes down.

A strong %10 warming sipper. A monster of a beer.

This beer will take you down, get you in the guard, ground & pound you into submission. I tapped after a bottle. I'm not worthy.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Damian and Lona for sharing this bottle.

2006 vintage

The beer appears a russet brown with subtle crimson highlights. The head is substantial in stature and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of alcohol, malts, and toffee. The hop character of the beer has faded during the aging process, so I am not detecting any of the fruit, hop, pineapple, or citrus flavors I have been told are well associated with Double Bastard Ale. The feel is thick and syrupy, with a strong alcohol presence throughout. I liked this much better than the Stone Old Guardian 2007 we had alongside this. This is a great beer to share a few ways and sip slowly on a cold night.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, sampled fresh. I bought it as soon as it hit the shelves in Ohio.

Poured into pint glasses, ruby red color with juicy tan head (but with no retention, it poofs away as quickly as it appears). The aroma is barley winish IPA, hoppy with a medicinal strength. The flavor is aggresive and burning, filled with grapefruit and alcohol.

Really nice but not my favorite Stone beer. I wouldn't say I'm wimping away from the DB, it's just that Stone 10th and even Ruination are so much better tasting.

Photo of SawDog505
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, fresh. Poured into a 20 oz Duvel giant tulip glass. Poured aggressively and got a huge 4 inch head, with plenty of lacing. Color is red with orange notes, head is off white. Smell is pine, grapefruit, hard candy, oranges, and a little grassy. Taste wow I have come along way in a year. Last year this beast almost brought me to my knees and now it is just a great beer, doesn't rip my taste buds apart. Starts with a burst of pine, orange, and then a huge burst of grapefruit and very little booze for the high abv. Body is good size, but not crazy. Carbonation is o.k for the size, wish it had a little more life. This is a great beerand pretty damn drinkable for it's abv. 2010/11 side by side is coming in the next few weeks, can't wait to see the subtle differences.

Photo of TheBierBand
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 2007 vintage 22 oz brown Bomber. The pour produced a 1-1/2" head in my trusty pint glass from the relatively hard pour. The head slowly settled leaving big gobs of lace on the sides of the glass. The beer is a deep amber/copper color and quite clear. The second pour introduced some minor particulate that stayed suspended.

I expected more aroma.... but it was rather slight. I could pick up hints of a citrus hops and a carmel/toffee sweetness.

The TASTE: WOW.... right between the eyes (in a good way)! First wave is a big citric bitterness from the hops (almost a lime-like tang). There is a big alcohol presence here as well. Hey.... don't mask it... let it club you over the head.... this is supposed to be an extreme beer! A little bit of buttery smoothness. There is some toasted malt in there.... trust me, it's there.... just not dominant.... The hops are the boss here.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick and robust. Carbonation is about right. Good mouth coating and a bitter aftertaste (not bad).

Drinkability: I don't think this beer is intended to be a session beer.... 22 oz. is plenty for my "session". But this is a good solid extreme beer from Stone. I prefer Arrogant Bastard.... but this is still good. I WISH that I had the self control to hang on to one of these for a couple of years....to let it age.... it would probably mellow out over time.

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 775 Gastropub

Looks really nice - deep copper, close to red, with a thick, sticky head.

Smell is complex, but the alcohol is clearly there. This transfers into the taste as well, but the taste is even more complex. It's incredibly hard to pick apart the flavor, but the strength of the alcohol (11.2%!!) is obvious. Not too hard to put down - all things considered, it is a pretty smooth beer - but it's no gulper.

I respect this beer more than I enjoy it, but that's not to say I don't enjoy it. It is a fantastic beer and nice to have here and there, but I think I'll be drinking the standard Bastard more often, because this one is really a BASTARD. I can't believe 775 serves this in a 19oz. glass. That's absurd.

Photo of sdlhy
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mikey_C_getitright
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A finger and half of reddish head on an almost clear amber colored body. There's a lot of sediment.
The aroma is weak with only a little malt and lemon coming through.
The taste is HUGE and BOLD. Lots of lemon bitterness thrown against tons of malt. It maintains a great balance.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
A big beer with still keeps it together.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass. Note: my bottle says 11.2% ABV.

A - A very dark caramel with a small white head that results in nice lacing.

S - Strong. Strong citrus hops and strong sweet caramel malts. Is that a hint of roast!? Smells much deeper and more complex than the regular Bastard.

T - Starts right out with thick malts which are not nearly as sweet as they smell, very much still present though. Also very robust hop-wise, however it seems more toned down than the regular Bastard, probably due to the higher malt bill. Slightly peppery and medicinal too. There is a weird roastiness that reminds me of barbecue or steak sauce.

M - Fairly heavy in body, but pretty highly carbonated which may make it seem less-so. Likes to linger.

D - Definitely a bastard. I can do a bomber and that's about it. This stuff is so strong in flavor and booze that it's a treat only on occasion.

11/3/2013
3-Year Update

This beer has aged beautifully! The aggressive nature of this beer is tamed way down and the alcohol has dialed itself back. The heat is still there, just more subtle. The caramel notes come through prominently as before, but it has started to morph into toffee. Overall, if you can afford to cellar a few, I would recommend it!

Photo of RyanAU
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of JustinAniello
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours reddish brown with a two finger head. Dissipates to a light cap and semi-sticky lacing.

S - Dry wood and burnt caramel take up the majority of the aroma with pine coming up in the background.

T - Heavy breadiness turning to burnt caramel and molasses, quite sweet on the swallow. The resiny hops shows through in the aftertaste, though lighter than I was expecting from Stone. Little alcohol flavor as well but pretty good overall at hiding it for how high it is.

M - Medium body and carbonation, oily feel.

O - Pretty good beer, nice flavors and aroma despite the lack of complexity. A enjoyable sipper. Would prefer with the oily feel and could use another flavor or two. Would have again.

Photo of itsscience
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version, aged 1.5 years.

Pours dark amber with two fingers of off-white head that leaves thick lacing. The nose is malt forward with sweet and bready malts, raisins, overripe orange, and booze. It tastes very smooth with more of the caramely, bready malts, some alcohol heat, cherries, raisins, and figs, with burnt toast and roasted malt on the finish that imparts no astringency. Hop flavors or hop bitterness are mostly missing from this aged version: if anything I get a faint citrus taste, but it pales in comparison to the malt presence. The beer has a creamy, thick mouthfeel and despite the initial taste of alcohol, it's dangerously quaffable at 11.2 percent because you get none of that alcohol at the back end.

Photo of farrago
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours up to a two finger head of frothy deep tan microfoam, pools of larger bubbles here and there, dissipates a bit quicker than expected, however, no lack of broad lacings left behind. Fully opaque red rust to amber color, like a glass of metallic mud swirled about, no variance throughout. Boozy nose of coconut custard, caramelized brown sugar, molasses, ginger snaps, raisin bread and then releases the pink grapefruit, mandarin orange citrus, pine sap and green straw, unprocessed grains. Full-bodied, the carbonation like a jelly roll, gets everything cascading left and right, for better or worse, it is certainly active in the mouth. Sweet and alcoholic, as if barrel aged. The caramel, molasses, butterscotch not to be denied, coats the palate like a blanket, were it not for the carbonation and the bitterness of the hops it would move into old ale or barleywine territory, even the grapefruit, orange citrus feels reduced. Pine and flowers here seem more obligatory than natural, steady presentation of the cherry, apricot, peach fruit, lower degree of dried fruit character. Admirably, not imbalanced yet it's not a beer founded in clarity of parts and choral harmony.

Photo of Kingrat831
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Jackandjulia
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A murky and velvety auburn with some glowing bright orange along the edges with a thin tan head. This beer appears thick and lightly carbonated. It doesn't take long for the short head to fall away. There's some lacing but not an abundance of it. While the color is beautiful, an altogether disappointing appearance.

The nose is all kinds of sweet with a hint of citrus hops. The main citrus fruit I smell is orange but the nose is dominated by sweet candied-cherries and sticky caramel. It smells like a strong barleywine, as there's certainly the aroma of warm alcohol mixed in with the candy-like sweetness. So far, this beer appears more closely related to Stone's Old Guardian Barley Wine than it does it's "little brother" Arrogant Bastard.

The taste is a mouth-blasting brigade of bitter and citrus hops, sweet, fruity and caramel malts, and a deluge of hot alcohol. The most upfront flavors are the sweet fruits, namely cherries, and a punch of bitterness. The warm alcohol toward the finish though reminds you to be careful with this one. While the flavors are certainly bold and "in your face," I think this one could particularly benefit from some aging.

Creamy and thick mouthfeel that fits the beer exceptionally well.

I always look forward to my first Double Bastard, as it's a showcase of so many different flavors all coming together as one. But I very rarely make it to my second; this beer is big, bold, and filling. An exceptional sipper that, in my opinion, is significantly improved with some time in the cellar.

Photo of Jagen
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into snifter
A – pours with an amber, two finger white head with great retention. Very dark red amber color…hard to see through to the other side unless held up to a light. Head very slowly fades away leaving minimal lacing on the side…fades to a mild amount of head retention. A ruby red color is a very accurate description
S – mm…very present hop notes. Nice, sweet, and fruity. When you take a very deep smell of it, you can definitely feel the alcohol lingering in the background
T Wow! This truly deserves the name double bastard…everything that arrogant bastard has but doubled. Strong alcohol bite in the front with a hoppy/malty finish. Makes you question your hubris for daring to drink this bomber by yourself! This is a fresh bomber that I just bought. I now know the bastard…but I do not know if it will set me free. As I have never had this before (I think I may have had it on tap in the past…no way of verifying), I look forward to seeing how the rest of my bottles will age. The aftertaste is the hop character lingering…very strong hop character that attacks you immediately. This is cold right out of my car (has sat there during my work shift…low 30’s when I left work)…going to continue this review when it warms up. The alcohol and hop character seem a little overwhelming right now..as it warms. The heat leaves a little leaving way to a deliciously strong, hoppy character beer with a strong malt profile in the background
M When cold, it feels very carbonated. The carbonation and hops attack your mouth and seek to control it…not necessarily bad, but almost overwhelming!
O While I really enjoy this beer, I think it is a little hot fresh. I look forward to seeing how this evolves in the future…If I didn’t have a twelve hour grace period to recover from this, I would say that I was the arrogant bastard for daring to drink this solo…I will be working out my mouth and liver to deal with this bastard. This is a damned good beer. My one regret is drinking it so fresh but I am also reminded that I have a few sitting in the cellar waiting for the right opportunity to be unleashed

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of Stone's Claim to Fame! I've had quite a few of these over the years but still have yet to review so here goes...but first I'll note, I've enjoyed this beer most uber fresh OR with close to two years of age on it.

The bottle in review is 2011 vintage:

A - Dark cherry red or Mahogony in color, semi- active in the 12oz La Chouffe Tulip I poured it in. One inch head rises from semi-aggressive pour but quickly diminishes. Not much in the rhelm of lacing...GOOD

S - Piney-Prickly hops with sweet pineapple smelling malts and grapefruit. There is also a good scent of cherries in there as well with moderate alcohol fumes. The problem with the Cherry mixing with the alcohol fumes is that it's faintly reminiscent of the smell of cherry cough syrup without ruining the smell of the beer, if that makes any sense...

T - Pretty much same as the nose. This beer is not short on flavor, that's for sure. As it warms it becomes boozier and a sour apple flavor comes into the mix. The mild reminder of Cherry cough syrup is there but again, not ruining the experience. Although the term Strong Ale or "category" is loosely used, this hits it on the head. This is what I would define a stong ale to be.

M - Phenominal for a beer of this magnitude or of 10.5%. Almost as if a big Imperial Red were infused with a Barleywine. The mouthfeel and taste come so close to just walking that fine line of being a Barleywine but was a wee bit shy of making it there. Still a tad bit too boozy, otherwise I would have given the mouthfeel a 5 score.

O - Very good beer. I think this 2011 vintage will be better in a year.

Photo of theghost3
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.

Pours a translucent caramel with some ruby highlights. Color reminds me of bourbon. The head is frothy, light yellow, and there's minimal lacing.

The smell is malty, caramel, slight herbal hops, and booze. The flavor is aggressive--herbal, roasted malts, and booze (whiskey) with some caramel. Mouthfeel burns the palate--carbonated at first but then just crisp as it goes down. Medium-bodied.

I liked this, but one glass is enough. That ABV really takes a toll. Would go well with BBQ or an earthy cheese.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,167 ratings.