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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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,656 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,656
Reviews: 1,978
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 361
Gots: 755 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,656 | Reviews: 1,978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 release

Appearance: Pours a clear caramel color with a nice head that leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Rich aroma, filled with caramel, butterscotch, candied apples, pears and chocolate covered cherries

Taste: Opens with a huge caramel flavor, that has plenty of fruity elements in there, too; while the bitter citrus has clearly been matured out of the mix, the caramel apple and pear flavors are very interesting; after the swallow, there is a hint of its bitter past, but the flavors are mellow, like a fine barleywine

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Merry Christmas to me, having cellared this for four years; I didn't much care for the young Arrogant Bastard (puts flak jacket on), but this, with age, is sublime

brentk56, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard Shall Set You Free."

--Double Bastard bottle

2005 Release. Glowing cherry caramel with amber and orange edges. DBA is a beautiful, multi-hued sunset of a beer. The thickly creamy head is the color of brown sugar mousse whipped with orange juice and is easily the equal of the glorious liquid that it will soon join. Well... maybe not so soon. Thick sheets of buttery lace are slathered on the upper few inches of the nonic pint glass. A remarkable look for such a high ABV ale.

I know the two styles overlap to a considerable extent, but Double Bastard Ale smells like an American barleywine to me. And a great barleywine at that. It's heavy on sweet, sticky caramel, as well as orange zest and candied cherries. I'm glad I let this bottle sit for a year (it took a great deal of willpower) because I get no hint of alcohol in the nose.

This is outstanding beer. I can tell after one large gulp that it's one of my favorite Stone releases. The butter toffee and brown sugar maltiness is monolithic, broad-shouldered, pick your favorite adjective for 'immense', and still has its knees buckled by a deluge of hoppy bitterness. I love it when sweet and bitter kick the crap out of one another and both end up bloodied, but unbowed.

Double Bastard may not be the hoppiest, most bitter Stone brew (I'll bet it's close), but it might be the hoppiest, most bitter American strong ale on planet Earth. I still think of it as a barleywine, since the strong ale style has always seemed like a dumping ground. As the beer warms, the sticky malt makes an even stronger statement and the hops continue their jackhammer-like assault.

It's been too long since I've had an Arrogant Bastard for my memory to be all that reliable, but this beer seems both more assertive and more refined, if that's even possible. I'd love to drink them side by side if I thought I could avoid becoming comatose after 44 ounces of ferociousness.

Alcohol is apparent on the palate, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Some beer revels in the power and the presence that well-masked, but still present, alcohol provides. This ain't no sissy, yella, fizzy beer, this is the BastardBastard (speaking of which, I don't think I've ever seen a cooler bottle). In terms of aging, drinking this big ale prior to one year probably isn't advisable if you're looking for maximum enjoyment.

The mouthfeel isn't quite as full and as viscous as I'd imagined. It's full, it just isn't FULL. Since my motto is 'the bigger the better' with respect to mouthfeel, take that with a grain of salt. It's plenty sturdy enough and is becoming firmer as it sits. The carbonation is nicely buried, which helps as well.

Double Bastard Ale lives up to the hype. It's a beer that will kick your ass up one side and down the other and will earn your respect and adoration while doing so. Thanks to Greg and the boys at Stone for continuing to release quality beer after quality beer that, more often than not, defines the style in which it is brewed. This is a 'by the case' brew if I've ever tasted one.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Texasfan549, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No doubt a seriously big beer. Not for the timid. Even for American Barleywine lovers, this beer packs a punch.

Has the look of thickness, viscocity, and ultimate maltiness. Pours an array of colors: brown, copper red, burgundy, maroons.... it goes on. Has a thick dense tan head that lingers as long as you want.

Aromas are intense mariage of complex malt, complex hops, and complex alcohol. Deep maltiness, grassy-hoppy, and a grainy twang also present deep into the nose An organic scent that adds complexity to the grain, hop and yeast content.

Malts portray flavors of caramel, brown sugar and molassas. Malts also bring out fruits of figs, dates, and a little in the way of prunes and raisons. Hop complex is highly pronounced from nose to finish. Earhty and grassy like IPA's but more complex and flavor infused. Alcoholic flavors also present throughout.

Mouthfeel is creamy, heavy, and rich; yet disected cleanly by hop bittering. Rather a crisp finish to a high gravity beer.

Aftertaste lingers indefinately with complex malt sweetness and hop bittering. Dark fruits continue to abound.

Impression: A great beer for that mood that hits you every couple months. Not an everyday beer for me. When you need this beer, none other will suffice. It's what Arogant Bastard wants to be when it grows up.

BEERchitect, Jun 27, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of heavy sweet malt with a strong dose of bitter hops. Taste is really sweet with a heavy dose of sweet malt plus a strong bitter hops presence. Body is above average with no discernable trace of alcohol. Very good try at bringing a lot of extreme side to a beer while conserving some balance.

Phyl21ca, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to unclejedi for the bottle.

Poured a cloudy Burn Amber with no head to speak of, some fine bubbles, and lots of eddys of lace swirling in the top. Looks strong in the snifter. Smell first hits you up front with a ton of alcohol, but starts to mellow after a while leaving hints of bourbon and very sweet, almost candy flavors. Some pine hops as well in the back, smell really starts to come out as it warms for a while/ The taste on this was HUGE. Again as it starts there is the alcohol, which at 10%ABV is unmistaken and pronounced. This must be let to set to truly appresicate the other flavors. Mellows out into a highly hopped strong ale, with a big ddry finish. Huge pine, and candied sweetness. This is a BIG beer with BIG teeth, be forwarned. I goes down nicely enough if you are prepared for it, very dry and beautiful texture, not oily and definatly not thin. Crisp, tough, this will kick your ass. It is highly drinkable, at lest for me. It came out as everything I envisioned it would be, Arrogant Bastard or roids! Not for the faint of heart, but for the strong willed hope head, heaven.

mikesgroove, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bomber poured into a snifter and shared with the roommates.

A: The pour is a clear, dark copper color with a lot of red notes to it. The head is about a finger's worth of cream colored foam.

S: The nose has a nice sweet caramel, toffee, and fruit background. A lot of raisins and oranges, and a touch of floral hops.

T: The flavor is very interesting and while it has the trademark Stone hoppiness, there's a lot more going on. The flavor starts off very sweet with caramel, toffee and perhaps even butterscotch. The raisins and oranges again make an appearance in the middle and are followed by a bitter, piney finish. The biggest flaw is that the beer is a bit hot.

M: The body is fantastic. Very full with an almost chewy texture and a moderate level of carbonation. The finish is surprisingly dry.

D: As I mentioned before, the biggest flaw with this beer is the alcohol presence. And as the glass warms up, it comes out a bit more. This is a big, big beer, and one you can't drink too much of in a sitting.

womencantsail, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

kylehay2004, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

jaydoc, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Release.

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish amber body with a well-formed, sustaining, off-white head. Copious amounts of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Aromatic hoppy nose, some sweetish hints to it, and smelling of fresh orange peel, exotic flowers, pine resin, and a splash of pomegranate liqueur. Caramel-scented maltiness underneath. Very, very minor wafts of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet caramel-laden maltiness with a pinch of light brown sugar and a quick drizzle of simple syrup brace themselves for the impact of hops. Quick montage of fruit flavors - oranges, grapefruits, pomegranates, even sweet cherries. This precedes a solid jolt of straight-up citrus and pine hoppiness with a full, sturdy bitterness. Definitely a warming beer, but not quite hot or bracing for me. Drying finish with a touch of booze and more than a touch of bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended! I'm ashamed to admit it's been more than a few years since I've had a bottle of this to myself, but I'm more than pleased to be having a fresh bottle and am happy they're finally, at long last, distributing to the state of Georgia.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a murky looking brownish amber color. The head was a yellowish white and pretty thick. The lacing was sticky and left a good trail running down the glass. The smell of the beer is loaded with spicy hop aromas and some malts. The taste of the beer is also spicy and very hopped up. The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and retains a good carbonation. Overall it's a powerhouse of a beer and it will surely knock your socks off if you let it.

Knapp85, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was actually the second time I was able to try this awesome brew and man I want more!Pours a rich deep copper with some amber hue with a one finger head that is gone pretty quickly,intense fruity aromas washed with alcohol with some brown sugar in there as well big and bold to say the least.Flavors are just sublime again the intense fruit and caramel up front but the big hop presence is felt to meet the big chewey maltiness half way to make this just exceptional.Thanks to Garagekegger for sharing another awesome beer.

oberon, May 03, 2005
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -18%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an Arrogant Bastard shaker pint glass at Plainfield's Tap House.

And here, finally, the Accidental Highway to Hell Tour comes to a conclusion. What a ride (and (insert inside joke wink here) it doesn't even really end here, per se). Anyway, this brew pours a dark amber-rust topped by a finger of off-tan foam. The nose comprises orange zest, grapefruit zest, caramel, pine resin, toffee, black pepper, and a touch of booze. The taste brings in more of the same, with more pine (which is more toward sap than resin here) and the addition of some mandarin orange syrup for good measure. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a richly textured and generally enjoyable brew. Definitely not for the faintest of hearts. Good times.

TMoney2591, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle.

Double Bastard has a slightly more rounded flavor than the standard Arrogant Bastard - the malt is more pronounced, completely engulfing the palate at first, though the hops do come through quite strongly in the finish. Alcohol is noticeable and warming. The aroma leaps out of the glass; fruity yeast, caramelized malt, powerful pine and citrus hops. The appearance is equally impressive, with a moderate-but-lingering head, curtains of lace, and a translucent ruby color. This isn't something I'd care to drink in large quantities, but it's a great beer to share with a friend during the winter months.

largadeer, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

emerge077, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, burgundy/copper color with a tan, foamy, bubbly, small head. It left some trails of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet fruits, some caramel and some toffee.

T - It really had a rich taste, unlike anything that I've ever tasted. It had a fruity sweetness and caramel taste with a very spicy hop and boozy alcohol kick.

M - It was sharp and crisp with a smooth finish. A full-bodied ale.

D - This is a very unique brew that does not fit into style guidelines. It is delicious but very potent and a little hard to drink,

zeff80, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 version.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby hue, with a thin cap of beige head, which leaves wispy lace at the edges. It smells of caramel, fig, raisin, toffee sweetness, booze, and some very mild citrus hops. The taste is sweet caramel malt, stewed raisins, and toffee, with some citrus and pine hops coming on later in the game. The carbonation is quite mild, the body thick, oily, heavy, and fairly smooth, and it finishes with a growing hoppiness to quell the consistent dense malt. The resident lofty alcohol is scarily well-hidden.

It's been a few years since I've had a regular Arrogant Bastard (those words don't seem to go too well together), but this sure is reminiscent of that beer, as a beefed up, but consistent, older brother.

biboergosum, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -6.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.3%

SocalKicks, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2001 batch. 22 oz bottle. Pours a clear, very deep ruby-tinted russet brown with a densely creamy light tan head that holds extremely well and leaves some nice lace. Exceptional. The aroma offers bold notes of pineapple, soft grapefruit and berries as well as some grassy, earthy and piney hops - all of which reside above a candyish and lightly caramel tinged maltiness. The body is full with a very fine, median carbonation that's creamy and just slightly syrupy in the mouth.The flavor starts quite sweet, reveals its deep fruitiness and then some very rich caramel maltiness along with some clear alcohol. A solid bitterness balances well against the rich malt - solid, but not overly bitter. The finish is surprisingly clean and dry for such a sweet and malty beer. I was really surprised by this beer. Firstly, at how different it was from the Arrogant Bastard; secondly, at how directly the fruitiness found in their flagship pale ale was carried over; and thirdly, at how good it was! This is a really exceptional beer that may smooth a bit with some age on it; although I don't think the alcohol will cool much further.

NeroFiddled, Nov 13, 2002
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From winter '03,

Appearance: Deep copper amber hue with a nice tan frothy two finger sized head leaves behind perfect speckled lacing oh yeah. Aroma: Pine cone this is my second bottle this year plus one I taste last year excellent brew with the perfect mix of hops and malt awesome. Deep plum and other fruit tones that send chills up my spine this is how this beer reacts, with slightly burnt orange rind and huge malty layers of amazement. Taste: Full flavored malty to beginning to end of fruit mainly charred citrus peels with malty backbone that little or no brewer's can believe this beer is awesome with syrupy mixtures of sweetness and pine cone flavored hops this is a masterpiece, just too good. Full meaty blend of malts and hops adding to this beer's addicting personality just way too good to express within flavor guidelines. Mouthfeel: Full bodied chewy sensation with an exubrently carbonated beer that stands infront of you just drops the jaw of your face. Drinkability: Each year this beer continues to amaze me for the flavor content and complexity I can't question it's goodness that would be unfair to me.

WVbeergeek, Jan 18, 2004
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,656 ratings.