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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.

5,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,687
Reviews: 1,978
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 365
Gots: 761 | FT: 26
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: 5,687 | Reviews: 1,978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rangerred
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured int a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Appearance is a hazy dark ruby with a tiny head that fades to a thin ring around the glass.

Smells of fruit but a couple different kinds. I pick up some orange, grapefruit, and pineapple presumably from the hops but then also dark fruit; figs and raisins. Also some wood.

The taste starts out quite sweet with some light citrus coming in next, much like an Imperial IPA. There is then a transition to the darker fruits more typical in a Barleywine. There is some vanilla along with wood towards the finish. A fairly strong bitterness comes in at the end along with some pineapple. Finally there is a somewhat drying bitterness with hints of tobacco.

Overall this is a very complex and enjoyable beer. There is so much going on and it constantly changes as the beer warms. A sipper for sure kind of wish it came in something smaller than a 22oz bomber.

rangerred, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Stone tent (woo-hoo!) at the Burlington Brew Fest '08. Poured into my glass a deep rusty brown with a fluffy, tan head. Good retention, good lacing. Smelled of big, bold malt overripe fruit, brandy. Flavors are huge and very muscular. Bitter as F and taut. Sharp hops, caramelized sugar, rich caramel, roasted malts, candied fruits, piney hops helps balance an otherwise chaotic beer. Underneath all the flavors is the alcohol esters, clearly they are not fibbing when they call this an American Strong Ale. But it feels like a Barley Wine. Fearless, complex, challenging and it will get you F-ed up if you underestimate it. Not for the novice, (YOU ARE NOT WORTHY!) but definitely worth a shot, especially off a tap!

thekevlarkid, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of jvillefan
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased the 22oz. bottle while at the Stone Brewery.

A: When pouring into a perfect pint glass glass, there was a small white head that dissipated quickly (probably due to high alcohol). The beer is a brilliant dark golden amber color with hints of a deep red.

S: Surprisingly for a Stone beer, the smell of the beer is not that strong but the smell of citrus and hops are there.

T: The taste is among the best. What the beer lacks in aroma, it more than makes up for it in taste. Initially, the hops are readily apparent then the pine, citrus, and hints of caramel come through to make this one of the most balanced and delicious beers I've had.

M: The viscosity is great despite the high alcohol content. The light carbonation helps to bring out all of this beer's complex flavors.

O: I highly recommend this beer. One of the best beers that are in most grocery stores (California).

jvillefan, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of axeman9182
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My share of a three liter bottle. It was poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Double Bastard pours a clear blood red, with some amber highlights. Two fingers or so of khaki colored foam tops the beer. Head retention is very good, and good sized chunks of lacing dot the glass. The nose features aromas of caramel, booze, pine, and a bit of grapefruit peel. The balance between all those moving parts is wonderful though. The flavor profile leads off with a healthy swirl of caramel, before an aggressive bitterness and a gentle warming alcohol presence set in. The potent hop finish has plenty of pine, and just a bit of grapefruit peel. The body is somewhat sturdy and the carbonation is lively enough to elevate the hops, very solid mouthfeel overall . There's not much more to say about Double Bastard, it's one of the OGs as far as American Strong Ales go, and a great one.

axeman9182, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of dankbrew21
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Appearance of a milky brown color. The way the bubbles danced to the top of the glass in a wave to form the head was very impressive.
Great head retention, and lots of lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

Smell is spicy, dark fruits, mabye some peppers. No hops coming through.

Strong alcohol taste! Very thick. Dark malts. Bitter, medium carbonation. There is a sweet underbelly. Definitely double bastardly, this IS and "angry beer". Leaves a kind of stingy bitter after taste. Very complex flavors achieved in the making of this beer.

Moderate drinkability, although I would recommend drinking this slow. Do not underestiimate the double bastard.

dankbrew21, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of dblinkhorn
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Stone Old Guardian specialty glass.

2006 vintage.

Appearance - Pours with a nice two-and-a-half finger tan and creamy head which retains for about four minutes. It eventually settles at a thin layer of creamy head that gets thinner as you get closer to the center. Full, sticky lacing is left as you drink this beer. It is slightly hazy with a beautiful ruby-amber color.

Smell - Lots of hops going on here. Fresh and bitter hops and a strong presence of tropical fruity hops as well (such as Simcoe or Amarillo). Grapefruit, mango, manderine orange, and kiwi make up some of these tropical aromas. Some slighty cherry and plum fruits, as well as a slight over-ripe (almost a bit rotten, but a wonderful smell) tropical fruit aroma way in the background. A rich malty and slightly grainy/earthy, wet hay aroma ties it all together nicely. Moderate alcohol all over the nose.

Taste - An explosion of crisp and bittering hops with more of the tropical fruity hops just behind this. Very juicy hop flavors overall that cause your mouth to salivate rapidly. As the hops die a bit, a warming alcohol becomes stronger. Also, for the finish, a doughy and pudding-like malt character with heavy notes of wet hay and grain as well as moderate earthiness come in. After you swallow this divine beer, some fruitiness and quite strong earthiness remain.

Mouthfeel - A nicely lively carbonation hit right up front, which quickly smooths out and holds the beer's mouthfeel together nicely. This compliments the already very smooth mouthfeel of this beer. It is quite wet overall, but dries up significantly for the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Strong hop flavors especially, and just strong flavors overall. Still, it has a wonderful mouthfeel and a good refreshing quality at least to some extent. This bomber will be no problem, in fact it will be a pleasure!

A superb beer from Stone. It's not just more of what you love in Arrogant Bastard, but lots of different little nuances and tidbits in the flavor that are a wonderful addition to its "kid brother's" wonderful foundation. A must have beer, especially if you like Arrogant Bastard ale!

dblinkhorn, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of 100floods
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper hue, a little hazy, tan-white head. Super malt aromas. There's some tropical fruit in the mix. I'm thinking pineapple, yum. I'm sensing a whiff of alcohol that I'm sure I'll be tasting shortly. I'm smelling some a little hoppness, but not much. Woah, taste them hops! First sip is a smooth hop bombardment. Slight alcohol warm does a nice job lifting the hop flavors. Lots of pine and wood flavors going on. Slight notes of caramel maltiness. Very chewy hop aftertaste. It's like a pine tree was left behind and I'm chewing its bark. I'm glad there's not thick, sugary aftertaste, that was my fear of how this beer would finish. Score. This is more than less what I had expected from this beer. Certainly not for the faint of heart. A person can easily finish a bomber of this, but then I'd call it a night. This is a good testament to what American strong beers can achieve, within reason.

100floods, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of Risser09
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought this 22oz 2006 Vintage on 11.29.06 for $7.25. Experienced it on 12.9.06.
Shared with my dad in small glass tasters.

Appearance: Bastardly. Clear, dark amber color with red-orange hues gradating themselves in the varied widths of the taster.

Smell: Powerful. I can tell this is going to be a worthy opponent for my palette. Smells of oily hops and staunch wood. Faint fruity smells are that of apple and pineapple.

Taste: BAM! An immediate blast of alcohol intensity hits hard and fast. The hops are there and are bittering (which would subside if aged for a year or so). Main flavors consist of tart wood and fresh hops. Maltiness is way is the background fighting for a chance. So is the faint pineapple taste.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. Great for what an ale of this nature should be. I feel like the alcohol is seeking out every cranny in my mouth to attack. Carbonation is present and not everwhelming.

Drinkability: As a fan of high ABV beers, I enjoyed this one thoroughly. However, I believe it would be better served after a year to tone down the hop intensity and see other flavors immerge. It seems like it could be a very complex beer but screams with alcohol burn. Affordability makes this beer highly drinkable.

I would purchase this beer again, but I would cellar it for a little. Those two bastards are mischievous little gargoyles, and I plan on harnessing their strength and agility!

Risser09, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I just got knocked on my ass. Thanks again Stone!

I decided to treat myself to some Double Bastard Ale for my birthday, you know, because I figured the good people at Stone would now how to humble a guy and entertain him on a lazy birthday! Somehow I feel more awake...

Anyways, the beer comes in a bomber with TWO fiendish looking gargoyles on the cover and a diatribe about how I don't deserve to drink this beer. So I told them to "Suck it" and proceeded to drink it anyway. The brew pours a murky golden brown with a head the doesn't give a $%@#.

The aroma has hints of pine, carmel, malts, hazlenut, and a hint of honey-bourbon. The flavor hits you like a ton of bricks, although tempered slightly by the light carbonation. This beer is going to take you on a rocky ride whether you like it or not - I can't even pin down all the flavors coming at my palate. There's a buttery overtone with strong hop-citrus, balance by thicker malt flavor for balance...and surely a host of other flavors.

Overall this beer will set your soul on fire, spit on it, then make YOU pay for parking. Tread with caution.

ManuelHerrera, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Ljunkan
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle (2007) shared with Bananaman.

Dark red color with a mediumzised beige head.

Smell is dark berries, fruity candy, sweet malts... well actually I think it's like smelling into a bag of candy or something... not that wrong. Some american hops there too.

Taste is fruity with a big bitterness. It also got notes of fruit candy with a sweet, pleasant aftertaste. Lots of american hop-notes with a obvious taste of grapefruit. Very good. Some warming alcohol in the taste.

Very filling, fullbodied and nice in the mouth. The carbonation is average and very nice. A bit sticky, but not in a bad way.

A very nice sipper. Reminds me a little of american barley wines, but it has some other characteristics as well. My next bottle will be standing for a while though.

Ljunkan, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of ummswimmin
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many enjoyable times in the past. It is hard to review as I consider it one of the hallmark beers that really got me into the craft experience. That being said, I'm reviewing this beer as part of my goal to review the top 100 beers of fame.

This is a great example of a strong ale. It is a thick, strong flavorfull ale. You get a ton of great accents in each sniff. And the flavor is very full.

I enjoy the hoppy, nutty, malty experience. This is a complete, well rounded beer. If you can't handle it... well, then you are not worthy.

ummswimmin, May 14, 2012
Photo of dagubna
4.44/5  rDev +4%

dagubna, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of sooner961
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lives up to it's name and the "book" printed on the back of the bottle. Not for the weak or inexperienced. Not sure what to say about this one...or should I say, not sure how to express all the tastes, experiences, or lingering emotions I had with each sip... notice I said sip... this isn't one you'll be slamming back and wondering why the bartender hasn't poured you another one already. For this one, you'll have to have some time to savor and some good music or a great movie to back it up. Smooth at the beginning and smells wonderful! Then it hits you with an explosion of different tastes...hops, citrus, and some kind of spice...can't identify it...(it's top secret, after all!). Ends with a kick of bitter "can of whoopass!" that'll have you wondering, "what just happend!?!"

I really think that's why this beer is high on the ranking lists... it's so much freakin' fun trying to figure it out!

sooner961, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of kaseydad
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber and I must say I love the silkscreen bottle.

Pours a beautiful carmal color with a small foamy head which quickly dissolves. Though it's an American Strong Ale, it reminds me of a barley wine pour.

I sense an aroma of sweetness right after the pour. Black cherry and raisins come to mind.

On initial sip I get a spicy jolt which quickly turns into a creamy, velvet smooth taste. There is a faint aftertaste but not distracting or displeasing.

A very drinkable beer though the high alcohol can get you (and me) in trouble.

Another great beer from the SB group though I wish this was brewed all year around though I do get excited every year for the Double Bastard release.

kaseydad, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of linnet
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colour, cloudy, small tan head, creates a lid, lacing. Aroma is sweet, dark fruit, honey, jam, almost vinous, noticable ABV, reminiscant of belgian quadrupels. Flavour is more hoppy than the aroma indicated, dark fruit, spices, hops. Mouthfeel is lively but quite smooth. Very complex but yet easy to drink. My second beer from Stone and they impress me again!

linnet, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of CloudStrife
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 Release.

A: Pours a mostly clear copperish ruby with an off white head. Head takes a couple minutes to dissipate leaving spots of lacing on the glass. Just a few bubbles of visible carbonation.

S: Very mellow aroma on this one that reminds me of a farmhouse I used to visit as a child. Malts add a big richness that overwhelm the hops. Certainly fig, raisin or another dried dark fruit pushes through.

T: Very bold flavor on this one. A wallop in the face of intense malt flavors that barely beats out the dramatic hop entrance. Carmel or toffee adds some sweet flavors. Hops linger in the aftertaste.

M: Full body with moderate to low carbonation. A bit dry on the finish from the amount of hops. Not too hot considering the ABV but certainly warms you up.

Overall this one is just screaming to be aged. Haven't had one in a couple of years and am really able to appreciate this beer now. A very serious bastard that will leave you wanting more.

CloudStrife, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of dacrza1
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brazen darkly opaque brown body with a thick off-white head that clings reasonably well to its snifter... nice, spooky, ghostlike lacing as its body drains... spruce and spice rush to arrest the senses... fresh fruity esthers bolster the rush with an engaging connection... the alcohol is noted in the heat at the throat... teeth rattle as Double Bastard is chewed... otherwise, body behaves as an IPA should... upon first sip, one wonders the IBUs needed to make this run... second sip brings a sweetness to the lips and a bitterness that lingers minutes after... difficult to gage the effects of this, as the expectation and the affectation blur in the experience.... I just feel I am drinking something important here, ignoring the rather silly "diatribe" on the bottle... a shout-out to brother Jer for gifting me with three (3!) of these for Christmastime...

dacrza1, Jan 11, 2009
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle:Oct. 2010 batch:Poured slowly into a Duvel tulip.
A: This brew looks that of a barley wine and the body holds a deep amber hue with a light tan head. Sticky lace lines the glass. and very good head retention holds through all pours.
S: Very high levels of hops, with a nice malt undertone, but very hoppy. A aroma that shows a beer needs to be enjoyed now, but needs some time to develop.
T/M:The front is a malt heavy blast that gives way to a long and well planned flavor profile. This goes into a very hoppy brew, a warm middle balances the hoppy dry after tones of a strong IPA. This is a different brew than I have had it before. The overall intensity is medium to high for the abv in this brew. Not too much boozy character, but can wait to see this brew develop.
D: As we would say in the beer shop I used to work in, "If I cover for you and work a double you owe me a double bastard. Ah, such a reward for a double shift. One of the most drinkable brews for being a double, strong ale. Hidden abv and a nice easy drinking approach. A nice brew I could have on draft in the home unit. The increased abv is very well hidden.

GDBEERMAN, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of benmiliron
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This one has been in the house for almost a week and I finally just cracked it open. Listening to "Master of Puppets" while I drink and review this as it seems appropriate. First impression is thick, molasses-like, nearly syrupy. Smell of malt knocks you over, but hop fragrance not very noticeable, which I prefer, but the malt aroma is very nice. Couldn't get much head out of this one either, but the Bastard cares not.

First taste: holy shit. it's all about the malt here; and the malt hits you like a freight train on steroids. Underlying alcohol plays with the malt on your tongue.

A few more swallows: sugarless caramel, chocolate and coffee. Dry, but not overly dry. 10% alcohol packs a punch.

Halfway through: just phenomenal blend of malt. This is what malt was meant to do. More hops would be interesting, but might interfere.

Finishing: I thought it too thick at first, but with a lot of food in my belly, I'd be able to drink this lovely brew all night (though I couldn't afford it!) A lesson on the beauty and oft-forgotten capabilities of malted barley. Thank you Stone Brewing!

benmiliron, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of richj1970
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into Stone IRS snifter glass.

A: Poured nice reddy brown color with one to two finger white head. Some lacing.

S: Caramel and malts with pine and citrus tones from the hops. Very inviting and begging to be consumed.

T: Hops fairly up front with nice sweetness in the background. ABV is apparent but welcomed.

M: Full bodied with nice carbonation. A bit dry and bitter at the end.

O: Very enjoyable. This has got to be one of my favorites from Stone Brewing. I'm glad that I picked up several bottles in my last haul.

richj1970, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of MJR
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 Release.

I was lucky enough to get a few bombers of this and was waiting for a special occasion to drink and review it. I suppose an ordinary Tuesday night after work is special enough...

Appearance: Pours a stunningly clear red with hints of orange. A light tan head starts out two fingers deep and holds it's size fairly well. Nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Aggressive aroma with lots of raw, pungent hops. Grapefruit, pine, the usual suspects here... Hidden underneath the hops is a hefty backbone of sweet malt that comes across as fruity and caramelly. Nice whiff of alcohol too.

Taste: Starts off by balancing the huge malt bill and massive hop flavor and bitterness. After the initial shock begins to wear off, the flavors start to come into focus: roasted and burnt malt, grapefruit, charred fruit, pine, caramel, and spicy alcohol. Very rich and BIG tasting! Finishes with a huge rush of warming alcohol. It would get a 5, but the heavy alcohol flavor prevents that. I know it's 10%abv, but there are other beers with more alcohol that's more well hidden...

Mouthfeel: Rather thick and syrupy with a dry mouthfeel from the high alcohol. This is a big one...

Drinkability: Not unlike the effect their Ruination IPA has, my mouth is getting a bit numb as I work my way through the bomber. Simply put, this is one big-ass brew and it takes guts to drink it! Despite it's strength and numbing effect, I could get used to this...

Wow...so this is the bigger, meaner brother of Arrogant Bastard Ale!

MJR, Apr 01, 2003
Photo of minterro
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle from Horrocks in Lansing

A & S: Very (in your face) citrus tones to this beer. If I’m correct they probably used some Chinook hops in this one, cause it seems a lot like the one I’m brewing now right after flame out, before it got more piney in the fermentor. What might even be more prevalent in the smell beside the citrus hops is the sugary sweetness of this beer. The sweet maltyness complements the citrus tones perfectly. Actually smells a lot like Hop Crisis or vise versa. Dark and dense looking red-orange colored beer. Foamy tan head, that leaves a good amount of lacing clinging to the glass.

T & M: creamy full bodied beer with a pleasant but not overwhelming amount of carbonation. Good lord this beer is smooth. Piney in your burp. Similar to the nose as far as taste goes: the same citrus and sweetness. The malty background is brilliant in this one, making the beer well balanced but still on the hoppy side. The finish is a bit more piney as far a hops goes and is semi bitter. Very drinkable even for being on the heavy side.

O: This beer is right up my alley style-wise and it really is good for the style also → a high rating from me.

minterro, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of dismal
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark red, brown color. Produces about a two finger head that goes down quick but leaves plenty of lacing down the glass. The aroma is a little hoppy but the hops don't jump out, and the smell is also kind of sweet like caramel. The taste is great, very smooth and sweet. It's hoppy but not extremely hoppy which I do like but in this case not extremely hoppy is really good. It has a bit of bitterness to it and overall the taste is great. For such a high alcohol content it's masked very nicely and I could easily and would love to drink a couple of these.

dismal, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of WeisGuy
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 version

a - nice deep copper color, slighly hazy, few bubbles, big off-white head with a little retention and nice lacing

s - very nicely balanced nose, sweet caramelly maltiness and a strong piney hoppy aroma work well in unison with a significant alcohol presence adding another dimension

t - as the nose would suggest, this is one complex brew, sweet caramel flavors up front with a strong hop bitterness providing a good punch, the finish is a mix of bitterness and a significant alcohol component, as other reviewers have said, this is a "hot" beer that would probably get even better with some aging though I like it just how it is

m - medium-bodied with little carbonation, alcohol and hops give a somewhat dry finish

d - this beer is pretty hot and intense, so I wouldn't call it an overly drinkable beer, one bomber is probably enough in one sitting for most, that said, DB is intensely interesting and complex, so I would love to be able to drink it all night

Yet another example of why Stone is one of the top brewers out there. I've got a couple bombers stashed to see how DB does with a little age on it, but I have a feeling I might not be able to keep from drinking them for long.

WeisGuy, Nov 13, 2006
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,687 ratings.