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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

6,123 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,123
Reviews: 2,038
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 412
Gots: 1,009 | FT: 32
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: 6,123 | Reviews: 2,038 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 10.5% ABV, Age at Cellar temp (55°F) or below. 2009 Release.

Thanks to sweemzander for this bottle!

A - DB pours out quietly with some viscosity. Hazy brown amber in color, it's topped by a dense light khaki head with great retention and minor patchy lace clinging to the glass.

S - Double the bastard, double the malts I suppose. This one is both a hop and malt bomb. Tons of gooey caramel and toasted dense bread make up the heavy amber malt nose. Lots of earthy hops come though in support as well. Decently balanced and really strong.

T - What a punch in the mouth even at about a year old. Thick roasted amber malts, sticky caramel, and dense bread really come out strong with an almost minor dark fruity alcohol kick to it. No booziness but the alcohol is definitely there. Strong earthy and floral bitter hops kick the end into high gear.

M - Massively full-bodied and rich with a smooth and throat-coating viscosity, the alcohol isn't so much tasted as it is felt in the finish that's got a lot of warming sensation. Largely bitter and sharp too, the mouthfeel of Double Bastard is pretty complex.

D - Still drinkable for how rich it is, this strong ale is double the bastard to you when the bottle is finished I'm sure. A nice beer with good profiles going on here.

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

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium amber/ruby colour, slightly translucent with a small amount of cream coloured head.

S - Grapefruit and pine are noticeable up front along with a nice hop bitterness. A big sweet caramel/toffee malt aroma balances this out nicely.

T - The citrus and pine aroma from the nose is not very easily detected, but the big hop bitterness is definitely present. The malt backbone is a good balance for the bitterness, adding caramel and toffee notes to the flavour profile. The finish is bitter and somewhat dry and lingers for quite some time. A very big, bold and well balanced beer.

M -Medium to full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

Photo of yamar68
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally reviewing this one...

Pretty silent looking copper orange body with a solid finger of off white to khaki head that retains and laces well, not much in the way of alcohol legs.

Loads and loads of dense hop notes... bitter dry grapefruit, dripping with tropical fruit syrups, puree, absolutely delightful in this respect... some caramel and faint cinnamon beneath all of that, no real booze character to be spoken for.

Even bigger to the tongue... harsh bitterness plays alongside a more noticeable alcohol presence, tremendous hop bill is very obvious, not quite as smooth and tame as the nose would suggest.

The bitter booze limits the approachability of this one - definitely prefer it with a year or so on it.

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

A- Pours a murky reddish amber color with minimal cream colored head.

S- Sweet, malty, fruity, pineapple, faint pine.

T- Well balanced sweet malt with hop bitterness, brown sugar, alcohol doesn't show itself at least not like 10.5 ABV.

M- Medium-heavy body, lightly syrupy, medium carbonation.

D- Complex enough to stay interesting, but watch out for the sneaky ABV.

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

2008 Release

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Poured think out of the glass bottle, color of deep burgundy with some caramel colored head that dissipated somewhat quickly. Some lacing can be noticed, served garaged temped (ice cold). Smells of sweet maltiness, sugary nutty tones, and a liberal dose of hops in toe. Intense malt at the beginning followed by a major blast of those killer hops to finish, its BIG. Thick as oil, sticky and a nice lacing on the palate which is favorable to say the least. Great sipper, a stellar winter warmer with no question. ABV is noticeable, but not distracting. Recommended the those who enjoy the big ones... arrogance is bliss.

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

Pours a beatiful deep red, almost wine red, with a dirty modest head that leaves a little spotted lacing.

Smells of sweet fruits with cookie dough and fudge, I also seem to perceive a hint of wet dirt!

Initially sweet fruits with... almost like pastry-dough, with a very filling malt prescense that brings a fudge-ness along with a hint of bread syrup. Tastes very well up to the middle, but an overpowering bitterness quenches the experience somewhat.

A creamy mouthfeel with small, soft bubbles.

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

2008 edition

Pours a hazy orangey red color with a small off white head.

Big citrusy nose, lots of hops with a touch of alcohol and malt.

Again, lots of grapefruity hops on the palate with a long lingering bitterness, but it's very pleasent. A touch of tropical fruit along the way, but not as much as I remember in years past. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Nice full body with creamy carbonation.

Very high drinkability given the ABV. If I tasted this blind I would peg it as a DIPA. Tons of hops and they are tasty. A total palate destroyer, but in a good way.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a bomber bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearamce is dark ruby brown. One finger tan head with very little retention. Aroma is toffee and slight hop pine presence. Alcohol is smooth and covered very well. Taste was caramel and toffee upfront. Very smooth. Taste fades to bitter pine notes from the hops and a slight smokey note. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and extremely smooth. Drinkability is good thanks to how smooth this beer is, but the hops can make consuming a lot of this tough.

Overall, a really smooth and tasty beer. The flvoar profile is not that drastically different from the regular Bastard except for a higher malt presence. The smoothness is the real highlight here. Just wish there was more dviation from the regular Bastard.

Photo of KJK-1
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- A light tea color or rusty look. Nice head that holds. Lacing on glass is excellent.

S- Big hop and malt, maybe a little toffee or caramel

T- Big malt presence. Nice hop notes begin to kick in midway. I get a little sweet taste that is caramel like. Very good tasting beer.

M- Medium to mildly full bodied and heavy malt presence. Good carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable, but I do not mind that.

O- A very good beer. I look forward to the release of this every year. I usually get several bombers to last a a few months. A good end of the evening beer to enjoy slowly.

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

A lovely orange shade pours with a large-bubbled head, served in a small goblet off a keg from '06.

A singular flavor indeed, it has a fullness of flavor that most ales can only dream of...it is of course a large proposition, with a massive amount of hops, and while the body is quite strong, the 10% does not sneak up on you so much as smack you in the face.

When your hops haven't mellowed any more that this in two years, you've put a lot in!

A pleasure. Thanks to the Papago B.C. in Phoenix for putting this one on the lines.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a dark shade of mahogany with a once inch creamy off-white head that sinks to a skim fairly quickly. Leaves a bit of lacing but not much.

Aroma has deep caramel maltiness with a bit of burnt sugar and raisin character. Blending in perfectly with the maltiness is a nice layer of citrus and piney hops. A touch of alcohol is detectable as well but not bad for the ABV.

Taste has a quick burst of malty sweetness but the complexity seems to be lost because the hops kick in and assault the palate. Much hoppier than the aroma actually suggested. Right from the start there are lots of piney hops and the citrus seems to be tamed down. Hops linger into the finish and with a hot alcohol breath.

Mouthfeel is medium, very smooth and creamy, but the hot alcohols in the finish detract a little.

Pretty good stuff, I figured this would be hoppy before going into this and it certainly was. This one should improve with a little age to hopefully lower the hotness.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark burgundy-red color. Off-white head is small but dense and creamy; turns into a nice film too.

Smell: Pine-like hops, with an acidic sweetness, like pineapple. A bit of alcohol present in the nose too.

Taste: The piney hops kick in at the start, set off against a malt backdrop. Towards the finish the pineapple (and a bit of citrus flavors) come into play. Alcohol is noticable for a good deal of the time.

Mouthfeel: Super-smooth feel especially at the start. Light carbonation, with slight alcohol burning towards the end.

Drinkability: This is for drinking very slow! The alcohol taste is quite noticable.

I was afraid this beer might be too over-the-top hop-wise, but it isn't. Instead, though, it is a bit over-the-top in alcohol content. I prefer a strong beer that masks the alcohol better. I do still think it's a good beer, but I probably won't get it again for a while. It's not for the faint of heart, and it's one that you have to give a lot of extra time for drinking...

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

Served from the bottle. Poured with a thick, foamy head on top. Lace around the glass. The aroma came across as a bread bowl with slight hints of rye. In the flavor I am noticing different qualities/styles of sugars present. Also, there are sprinklings of spices with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and something I can't name that has a bit of a kick to it. The alcohol is also very noticable. With the mouthfeel, there is a slight alcohol burn on the tongue. Unfortunately, I tend to prefer beers with such a high ABV that are better at conceeling it, so that kind of took away from the experience for me.

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

Appearance – I decided to celebrate having tomorrow off and my 100th review by drinking this bomber, dated 2004, which I recently picked up at Luke’s. Poured into my snifter it is hazy dark red/brown beer with a one finger off-white head. Good spotty lacing, but poor retention.

Smell – Even at a year old this still has a lot of hops, slightly resinous pine for the most part. Definite alcohol presence as well along with some sweet toasted malt. This has calmed down a good deal since my last bottle of 04 last December.

Taste – Sweet toasted malt balanced by piney hop bitterness, a classic combination on steroids. While the flavor is big it is close to balanced, but the bitterness still has an edge to it that lingers. The alcohol is slightly fusel and warming, but definitely not as powerful as it was when the beer was fresh. Good flavor, but it doesn’t have the complexity that I have come to expect from big beers.

Mouthfeel – Completely full with medium carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Tasty beer, could have used a few more months, but good as is. The last time I had this beer I was still early in the craft beer life, I found 1/3 of a bottle nearly undrinkable, judging from my opinion tonight either I or the beer have come quite a long way. Am I the only one who wants to see Oaked Double Bastard? That would be excellent.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,123 ratings.