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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,114
Reviews: 2,036
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 411
Gots: 1,001 | 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: 6,114 | Reviews: 2,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeriba
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in my brand new Ikea $2 snifter.

A: Dark ruby color, kinda hazy. Lingering cream-colored bubble bath foam.

S: Intense malt and raisin aromas, and spice.

T: Starts out with a punch of sweet raisin and date, followed shortly by toasted malt, which fades into a lingering hop finish. This is how I imagine that gum in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" that takes you through an entire meal while you chew it. Is the brewmaster at Stone an oompa loompa?

M: Lovely texture of tiny bubbles. Rich and creamy but not oily. The mouthfeel really brings out the flavor.

D: This beer should have been named "Sneaky Bastard" for the way it hides the 11.2% ABV.

Photo of babaracas
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy red-brown with a cloud of fine sediment, and a dense two finger eggnog colored head. Half inch retention, sheet of lacing. Smell: floral, pine, undertone of sweet citrus, brown bread - pumpernickelish, tropical fruit. As it warms: brown sugar, effervescent alcohol. Taste: mega-ibus, pine, tangerine, tropical fruit, herbal edging towards medicinal, yeasty rye-like funk mid sip, brown sugar, caramel. Mouthfeel: creamy carbonation, syrupy on the tongue. Tasty and brutal sipper.

Photo of marvin213
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Double Bastard looks like a dirty bastard: dark muddy brown with a thick, creamy froth. The head leaves gooey residue in its wake as the glass sides fog from the dissipation. The bacterial culture-looking bubbles beckon menacingly, fully well indicating this is a strong ale. It's a mud puddle. Like a kid with a slicker and rain boots, I'm eager to jump in.

An oakiness dominates the nose. I smell a hint of brown chocolate bittered with hops. Sometimes I scoff at unedible characteristics attributed to beer, but I detect a leather and gunpowder. Ironically, I think Stone's unabashed arrogance is influencing me, for I'm identifying things in the nose that can possibly be in the beer; nonetheless, it smells tough.

There's a tightrope-like balance between the malts and the hops. The malts are present on the tongue than the aforementioned observations. There's really a sweet bitterness all the way through the taste. This strong characteristic makes taste and feel almost inseparable. I know it's a strong ale, but (surprise!) I want more hops. What if there were citrus notes or other fruitiness to it? I know...go drink an IPA. Undoubtedly, it's a good beer, and a good-tasting strong ale. It is so superbly balanced. Perhaps the simplicity is what limits it to "good."

I really want to credit what is truly an accomplishment: a strong ale that feels sweet and swallows bitter. The tongue tastes the brown chocolate malts while the cheeks hop-shrivel. Post-swallow lingerings are medicinal. Neither a quaint nor sophisticated beer, it's a massive classic offering from a landmark craft brewery.

Absolutely among the more drinkable strong ales, the Double Bastard offers a great example of what simple brewmaking can do. It's a storybook beer from a flagship west-coast brewery. It's remarkable how easy I can sip and analyze this one. At 10+%, it's easy how I can carry on endlessly about its qualities. Appropriate among any offerings, the beer, in sum, is an exemplary strong ale.

Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a white and red silk screened label, mirror image if the gargoyle is creepy. Short essay about the meaning of life and why you are probably no worthy to drink this beer yet is on the back. No freshness dates though I am sure with its strength it does not worry about petty freshness dates. I am a little worried about going further … I must trek on.

Appearance: Deep and dark reddish mahogany brew with a thick light tan lace, this is a devil’s brew … devious in colour and taunts you to drink it. Even the bright clarity coerces you to drink it yet tells you to be fearful.

Smell: Citric and piney, caramel and spicy alcohol. Very aromatic, chocolate covered cherries laced with brandy is quickly suggested, higher alcohols will intimidate the nostrils. Almost vodka like in the fusel alcohols.

Taste: Exquisitely smooth right off the bat, it’s a well place carbonation … its placed out of the way but still hangs around to hold up the full body of malt and slightly syrupy mouth feel. Huge fruitiness with a bossy caramel maltiness, alcohol is sweet and fumy with a spicy overtone. Slight roasted malt and over caramelized flavour hits the tongue with chicory and faded burnt sugar. Hop bitterness pushes through the double doors of this beer and sets this beer even and balanced in a chaotic arrogant way. Piney and grapefruit rind hops flavours invade the taste buds. Warming alcohol increases with each sip, sweetness is large throughout but the hops and alcohol keep it in check right into the finish. Malt sweetness just can’t let go but hops and burnt sugar flavours tag along so the sweetness does not get too flamboyant.

Notes: Yikes! Barley Wine in character but don’t say that in front of the beer because it will set you straight, this is a American Nitro No Holds Barred Monster Truck Bitch Slappin Strong Ale. You’ll feel the redness on your checks after this one slaps you around, you’re probably better off not drinking this one alone just from the dominance and arrogance let alone the whopping 10% abv.

Photo of mattster
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased on tap in snifter.

Nice small head atop a dark amber brew.

Smell is of Carmel malts and nice roasty hops. Taste is very strong, of course, but not overbearing. Very nice creaminess and a small hints of dark fruit.

Mouth feel is filling. Slight warming, but not what could be expected from a lesser brew. I wanted another of these, but at 10% ABV, I didn't want to fill up. All in all, A really good brew that I will revisit soon.

Photo of magictrokini
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The diatribe on this beer is a bit much, but Stone does deliver. Alcohol is everywhere in this beer. Very strong, but finishes somewhat sweet. Beginners should start with the Arrogant brew and work their way up. My liver is probably the only one happy that this only comes out around Thanksgiving.

Photo of BadBadger
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Release

This fine ale pours a nice dark copper color. The head is slightly off-white (nearing a tan) and it does not last long. The olfactory apparatus: first is knocked back by the alcohol contained within. Subsequent sniffs are not as neck snapping, with malty and hoppy scents coming through (don't be off-put initially-just brace yourself for an experience), The taste is sweet and bitter at the same time. There is a wonderful thicknees to the after-taste. Damnation this is not to be avoided. Do not cellar this...drink immediately and then run out (the next day) and buy a few more. If you have passed this up...you are a fool. Enjoy!!!

Photo of brewbucker
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ahhhh. Arrogant Bastards big brother. Served in my Double Bastard glass. Pours a dark copper with a medium light tan lasting head. Also some serious sticky lacing. Aroma is ripened fruits, bitter piney hops. Seems a little less hoppy than previous years. Flavor is boozy fruits and malts, hops. Quite dry and bitter in the finish which is ok with me. Great stuff.

Photo of CortexBomb
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour is extremely deep brown, opaque, with a thick, 2 inch tan head on top. Smell is floral hops, malts.

Taste starts out very grapefruity, the most distinctly grapefruit flavour I've noticed in a beer to date. A smooth, malty backbone also is present with some caramel tones. The high alcohol is most apparent on the swallow, as it gently warms the throat on the way down. A good hop bitter on the finish as well. A slight warming effect a few seconds after each swallow as well. Very solid.

Mouthfeel, viscuous, great hop bitters, very solid. Drinkability, not a problem, an easy drinking big beer.

The bottom line: I really like Arrogant Bastard, and Double Bastard is like a bigger, heavier version of the same thing with a bigger grapefruit tang. Exceptional stuff, and highly recommended.

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark rich copper with red/amber highlights. Big smooth creamy tanned head with good retention. Organic arms of lace.

Herbal and piney, with a bit of citrus. medicinal cherry, nutty, smokey and roasty.

Earthy and roasty, sweet and sticky, caramel and brown sugar, medicinal cherry and bourbon, spicy herbal and pine, a tough of bitter grapefruit. A brutal bitter aftertaste with a booze blast.

Big sticky, and chewy, goes down smooth, dry, and full bodied.

Big sticky bitter boozey brew. Not for wussies. Drinks pretty well for 10%.

Photo of BeerBuzzGuy
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of byrd
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Double Bastard pours with a large frothy head that is quite long lasting. The head eventually dissipates to a thick light brown lace. Reddish brown in color and clear, yet becomes hazy on later pours and white sediment eventually collects on the bottom of the glass. This brew is wonderful, but tough for me to wrap my arms around. The aroma is strong with notes of dark fruit and caramel malt. I picked up some slight vinous notes on the nose as well, along with loads of hops and alcohol. The start is smooth with dark fruits and a touch of oak and alcohol (rum, whiskey, bourbon, can’t really put my finger on it). The hops kick in mid swallow, and last through the finish. Alcohol melds with all the piney, grapefruity hops and leads to a rather warming finish. Some roasted notes are also noticeable in the end reminding you that the malts have never faded from the picture. The aftertaste lasts forever. Rich, complex brew. At 10% ABV, this is one that is great to enjoy slowly during an evening. Flavors develop even more as the brew warms a bit, making a slow paced drinking of this brew even more rewarding.

I bought 4 of these this winter, and have made sure to put one aside for next year. The rest won't make it through the month.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy garnet with some coarse bubbly head into a tulip glass. Nice thick rings of foam cling to the sides of the glass over the entire duration of the beer.

Smell is malty with some plum, date, and fig character combined with the signature west coast strong-hopped ale scent that you can expect from anything Stone.

Sweet malts fight with tangy citrus and piney hops for dominance. The malts effectively take over the front on my palate. In the middle the fruits develop quickly enhancing the flavor considerably. The beer finishes with a perfect amount of hop bitterness to balance the malts before the take over.

Full texture and a good amount of carbonation with some really impressive character. The flavor is nicely balanced, and you are left satisfied and content. Not a sessioner in the traditional meaning of the term, but I could drink these all night

Photo of BuckSpin
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - c.2004 vintage bomber

I am now all but convinced that Stone produces, as a stable, the most beautiful beers of anyone. Saved this bomber for a quiet Saturday evening. The color is just incredible - a beautiful, warm, deep ruby ruddy-amber hue with a sharp, crystalike clarity, all under a tight 1" head of blanched almond foam that laced subtly as I drank.

The nose was more interesting than Arrogant Bastard, with noticable fruit tones (dried currants or cherries) over a soft malt base. Echoes of peat and oak (reminiscent of the Oaked version) were present as well.

Its warming on the tongue, but a slow warming at first that builds to a full mouth warming by the throat. The nose qualities carry over to the tongue as the same fruit, peat, malt & oak aromas translate to pleasing tastes that work well together, but not over the top. Its balanced and smooth, with all players knowing their part and playing it well, in support of each other. A mild honey sweetness plays off the mildly bitter hops and oak, all joining with a creamy quality on the pallete.

The finish - yowza! The hops do their best to fight off the alcohol, but I must admit that their were some brief cobwebs after each early swallow. It definitely packs a sensory wallop on the throat. However, the aftertaste is slightly filmy, (which I do not care for with the chalky Arrogant Bastard) and bittersweet but not bad, nice actually.

Aside the from fact that I can't imagine sessioning this, it was enjoyable and, IMHO, better than Arrogant Bastard. If you have the opportunity and the time, definitely try this.

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter glass, this mighty bastard of a brew shows with a deep, hazy reddish-amber hue. A big, fluffy, creamy cap of light tan foam rises and lingers a while, leaving behind trails of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose is full of sweet, toffee malt, dark pit fruits and a tinge of alcohol. Very inviting, indeed.

A nice, full body and smooth, thick mouthfeel, with just a spritz of carbonation drags a bashing of citrus hop bitterness, with notes of cherries and other dark fruits. An underlying malt sweetness is mostly masked by the powerful hop presence. Alcohol is well-hidden, and the dry, bitter finish keeps the brew going down until not a drop remains in the whopper of a bottle.

This is one damn deceptively drinkable bastard, and the 10.5% is a backstabber for sure. Either way, this one can be sipped or quaffed, but drinker beware! A headache may await the morning after.

Photo of hoppyhampy
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. 2010 vintage. Pours a cloudy reddish orange with one finger of foam and good carbonation evident. Good lacing. Nose is sweet and malty but not so rich as to be syrupy. A little nutty but mainly it just smells like a massive beer. Very nice mouthfeel for such a big beer. Full bodied but the carbonation doesn't let it sit too heavy on the palate. For a beer with no evidence of hops on the nose it is surprisingly bitter on the palate. A malty sweetness comes on smooth and is balanced out by a mouthful of resiny hops. The finish is hoppy but not overly so. The malt balances quite well here so the finish is light, long, and very enjoyable. Not as clean a finish as the Lucky Bastard but similar in character. One of the best beers over 10% abv you will find and worth every penny.

Photo of gatornation
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap @ red cow

A= pours a mostly clear rusty orange color with an off white i finger head
S-sweet floral hops with a mixture of light and dark fruits some toffee
T- follows the nose with juicy hops and a range of fruits nice baked bread with caramel and toffee
M- sweet and smooth medium carbonation
O- tasty with ABV well hidden found this tasty and very easy to drink

Photo of velosuds
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not "Only the lonely," as the song goes, but "Only the worthy are invited" according to the label.

Once an arrogant bastard, it is only logical to become twice illegitimate. Gotta be me. Sorry, Mom and Dad. Finally saw this today for the first time this season. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Purchased from Capital Market for $7.49. "Liquid Arrogance," two-fold.

A-poured a copper-medium amber with a two-finger, rich creamy head with artsy lacing.

S-Rich, sweet malt aroma with a faint alcohol presence. Very pleasant array of aromas from orchard fruits to toffee sweetness. Nice blend of malts and hops.

T-Like somewhere in time between an ordinary barleywine and an American Strong Ale. It's very good, and close to great. Definite sweet malts reminiscent of dark dried fruits like dates and raisins. A slight alcohol noted in the taste and the bitterness in the finish is very satisfying.

M-Exceedingly smooth for such a big beer at 11.2% ABV.

D-I enjoyed this. It would be much more drinkable if I could get my hands on it other than in November each year. Contemplating hoarding this.

Photo of Enola
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmm. That was my first thought when I tasted this fine brew. This is a hybrid between a DIPA and a Barleywine. There is a nice bitterness and the alcohol is noticable but not overpowering. The taste is bitter and there is an underlying sweetness. The hop aftertaste lingers for a good while. Lots of lacing in the glass. The head is in no hurry to leave. One bomber of this will really warm the tops of your ears up.

Photo of bmwats
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into my Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A: Dark amber hue. Pours about a 2 finger, frothy, white head. Head craters slowly, unevenly, and unpredictably; leaving dry sticky residue in its wake. Thick, dry, persistent beer ring lacing. Kind of like tree rings....you can measure the drinking experience.

S: Hearty malt, butterscotch, caramel, parchment, a little honey, and a little orange citrus.

T: Sweet, nutty, roasted malt. Bittersweet hop character characterized by a little licorice, with butterscotch. A little bit of a root beer liqueur sort of thing going on.

M: Thick, syrupy, and hearty. Bittersweet start, and a lingering dry bitter finish. But no so much so to be off-putting. Well-balanced. Earthy tone.

D: You might be able to sip this one down....you probably should, but it's really, really good...which might create a conundrum for you.

Atmosphere is great. Great head (and I do like great head), lots o' residue, and the characteristic great Stone lacing. Nose is a great combination of candied malt, and a little fruit....all distinct. Thick and syrupy body, characterized by a very earthy feel, some sweet tones, some bitter tones. Well-balanced. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber Dated 2010
Appearance - Dark as you would expect from a Double Strong Ale
Smell - Nice aroma, not a hop bomb or an overpowering smell of Malt.

Taste - This is where the party goes from 0-60mph in 1 sip. With bottle graphics this intimidating and evil looking, this brew better bring it! The further you get into this 22oz liquid UFC knock-down drag-out fight the more you realize that you have something very rare and special. As a hard core Hop Head, trying anything other than a Imperial or Double IPA takes you out of your comfort zone, but this brew has Hop punches from beginning to end.

Drinkability - This is a sessionable beer, as in,1 bomber per sitting. It is also great to split with a buddy that is worthy and battle-tested.

If you love and appreciate beer then you have to try this one. It will be one that I save for special occasions and celebrations. Stone, in my opinion, has a very, very solid line-up of great beers.

Photo of brotherloco
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Release. As much as I was tempted to shell out $100 for the 3 Litre, I settled for a 22oz Bomber.

A gorgeous looking pour. Foam settles to a medium filleted ring around the glass. Clear deep ruby red color with light suspended bubbles.

Smell is a solid balance of citrus hops and caramel malt. Fruit notes, a bit of chocolate. A light alcohol sting is present, but expected.

Taste kicks in hard, almost as if it was bourbon barrel aged. Creamy smooth sweet malt. Complex. Middle brings on bitter oily hops and strong well blended alcohol. Overall balance is terrific for such a strong brew.

This is absolutely a sipper, which you know up front given the ABV. I find the alcohol is quite apparent in all of Stone's high ABV beers, but this is one of the best blends. Can't drink it all night, but a great way to start one off.

Photo of AndFle86
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BrausBeforeHaus
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased this fine brew a few times now. So I figured now I would rate it to avoid any snap judgement on it.

I've always liked most of Stone's offerings, especially earlier in my exploration of beer when hops were the only thing that seemed to matter (how naive hah!). I always appreciated Arrogant Bastard as a decently-balanced ale with good character and widespread appeal. So when I found out about Double Bastard, I was intrigued to try a more extreme offering of the Bastard, and ready to compare the two.

You've no doubt read a few times about the lacy white head, coppery color, etc. I'll just skip to the taste and impression.

Wow! Is all I could say after having a few sips. It has a strikingly bold start, but nothing overwhelms or hits you with one profile. All the hoppy characteristics of regular Bastard are there, but with better malt balance to even it out and also a more boozy sweetness.

You can definitely tell its potency after a few gulps. However that potency is more subdued than the 11.2% ABV might have you believe. A few friends of mine who have tried it were all shocked to learn it was that alcohol-infused, they guessed about 8.5-9%.

All in all, I believe this brew to be far superior to regular Arrogant Bastard. I am more partial lately to "extreme" style beers with strong ABV and character. It is a definite recommendation that you pick up a bottle if you fall in line with those tastes. I have already given it a good review amongst peers who are looking for something new and different in the beer world.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,114 ratings.