1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

5,689 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,689
Reviews: 1,978
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 365
Gots: 762 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,689 | Reviews: 1,978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Jason, Jul 27, 2001
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
Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Half a finger of light brown head on top of a slightly hazy, dark reddish-brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves thick lace.

S - Moderate aroma of pine scented hops mixing with dark malts to give off a distinctive barleywine note of mustard and pepper. There are some sweet malt notes as well; toast, toffee, and caramel.

T - Thick, rich toffee and caramel malt at first, followed shortly by velvety pine hops. Sugary malt in the middle, lots of caramel and toffee with a bit of red apple yeast. Gets spicy towards the end with more of the pepper/mustard notes from the aroma and a nice, strong wave of bitterness to push back the malt. This beer lingers on the tongue long after the last sip with notes of peppery tobacco, coffee, and mouth-coating hop bitterness.

M - Thick, chewy body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is a big one! At first, I was a little underwhelmed, but a few sips in, it started to open up. The is that of a classic, mustardy, American barleywine and the flavor is a complex interaction of caramel malts and dark, bitter hops. It reminds me in many ways of Brooklyn monster, except this tasting requires me to take down a whole bomber of this big, intense beer. Seems like this would be well worth laying down for a couple of years to mature.

nickfl, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 release, poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is pretty complex with caramelized malt, brown sugar, dark fruit and a lot of hops.

T: The taste is about as well-balanced as any beer that I’ve ever had. There’s a strong hops bitterness and a hearty malt character, with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits. For a beer with 10.00% ABV, the alcohol burn is very mild. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet. To me it seems to taste very similar to Old Guardian, but something that I can’t put my finger on just makes it taste even better than both OG and the regular Arrogant Bastard.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down extremely easily, not very filling, this is flat out just a damn good beer. I simply can’t say enough good things about Stone, because they continue to impress me. Even amongst the Stone beers this one is one of the best.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. 2012 Edition. Pour a deep coppery amber with a frothy off-white head. Retains with some fizzy ringing around the edges of the glass. The aroma smells of floral and citric hops, dark roast and a combination of malt and alcohol sweetness. It’s full in the nose, with the hops and malt making an equal push. The taste is similar but even more aggressive, with roast and hop bitterness really hitting the tongue hard. Toffee sweetness comes in strong off the sides, helping to balance things. The finish on this is tough though, with a burnt and bitter feel that lingers. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a good bit of alcohol sweetness mixed in. It’s not overly stinging but will definitely warm your face up a bit. Arrogant Bastard to the extreme indeed, this packs a wallop in the flavor and alcohol departments yet still remains surprisingly accessible. A winner every year.

Kegatron, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Off notes 11-3-2006. Pours ruby colored with thick lacing. Minimal nose- slightly citric. Very hoppy as expected, but with a slight tangy edge - almost sweet. Over time that flavor smoothes out and the sweeter side comes out but stays consistent and smooth. Feel is smooth with a great amount of carbonation on the mouth. Very drinkable, until you start to realize that 10% is kicking in hard.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this bottle at Thirsty's in East York, PA. I shared this ale w/ octopus87- bomber split into two snifters.

A - A dark amber and ruddy brown mingled liquid w/ a big and rocky cream head of about 2 fingers which settles to tiny bubbly film.

S - Rich malt aromas and earthy deep piney hops w/ a strong alcoholic nose. Very much like pine cone's intensity in the scent w/ a hint of booze coming in close second.

M - This malty strong beer has a nice smooth sweetness which surrenders to sharp and bitter feeling on the tongue. Mildly carbonated and intense alcohol textures create a whirlpool of hoppy bold feelings and an astringency of many grapefruits.

T - Almost off the bat the hops jump and hold the tongue hostage in a very aggressive taste of piney and sharp w/ a nice supporting flavor of strong ale w/ sufficient malt to keep the flavor from becoming too bitter to stand. An aggressive bitterness w/ slightly sweet malt and dry acidic finish. The acohol warms all the way down and the hop taste pummels the palate in a true hop assault.

D - Not a very drinkable ale, but you knew that already since it is "Double Bastard" and that indicates an extreme beer - Strong ale in the truest sense. The taste is very over the top and should probably always split this unless you can handle super ball sized wasabi. It was a very intense beer before bedtime and I think this works best with a hearty meal for instance Shepherd's pie

Slatetank, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version

Pours caramel/red with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Breadyness & earthy hops

T: Earhy herbal & piney hops along with big tome breadyness up front. Slight brown sugar & alcohol warming follows along with dryness & hints of caramel. Piney hops linger on the tounge along a hint of oakyness & cinamon

MF: Chewy with low carbonation

Drinks pretty good, just a little too hefty to session on, especially when they are served up in bombers. This is a nice strong ale, but overpriced IMO. I doubt I'll buy this next year, just ain't up to the hype . Might be worth cellaring, but not at this price

russpowell, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: beautiful bright crimson coloring, with a big, solid, creamy head standing on top.
Aroma: rich, fruity, and burnt. Feels like a turbo-charged Young's Old Nick , it does! Fruit+liquorX 100! Spicy, sweet, and strong!
But, to drink! Mellow, on the tongue and tastebuds, at first, but soon sizzling with hops, flavor & booze, sweet boooze!
Boom! Bam! Biff, bang, Pow!!! There is no relief, nor should one seek any, from this hoppy, malty onslaught!!!
DAMN! I can't think of a tastier ale with this much strength, anywhere! The Double Bastard has seriously laid me to waste! Rich and delicious, and full and fruity and strong and BOOM!, SCHMANG! SCHWOOP!!! (As you see, I've had to invent new sound effects for the occasion)
I've been wallopped but good!, and I like it!
Damn, I like every little wicked thing this beer does to me!
It's a MONSTER!!! There's no relief, no respite, no nothing, just the full-on fruity, hoppy explosion that is this BastardX2!!!
How does it compare to my favorite, Bell's Third Coast Old Ale?
No, I'm not in the mood, or inclination. We'll just judge it on it's own and say that was one hell of a trombone solo!
Strong, sweet, burnt, but still, somehow delicious, that's the thing!

feloniousmonk, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone is celebrating 10 years of the Double Bastard and I was fortunate enough to have the current vintage (2009) on draft at a local beer bar. Much appreciated treat for myself.

Beer was clear and brown. Formed a thin white head (slightly yellowish bubbles) and has low carbonation. Lacing is high, its an attractive beer.

The aroma is primarily hops and malt. There is some detectable alcohol in the nose, but its not solvent-like at all.

Beer is surprisingly smooth, really high bitterness at the back of the mouth, a little (less than I expected) sweetness at the front. Sweetness in the front is primarily malt based syrup flavor. Its good. There is some alcohol in the midpalate but its not bad and is well balanced by the high hop bitterness in the back. Drinkability is fine, not high, couldn't pound this beer, Mouthfeel is good, nice connectivity throughout the beer, good body, not thin or too thick. Beer gets a little dry after a few drinks but that's OK. A really nice beer.

Whenever I drink a beer like this I wonder how it will age. This is one of those strong ales that I bet would get sweeter with time as the hops fell back and the alcohol warmness mellowed.

drabmuh, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -6.3%

oline73, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: ?

Also strange that I've never reviewed this one, but oh well. Pours a dark amber color with a decent off-white head that leaves some doily lacing on the glass. Dark sugars in the aroma, and a blast of fruity hops. Taste of dark sugars, malts, caramel, citrus and tropical fruits, woody, notes of dark dried fruits and some pine resin. Full bodied, a little sticky, noticeable alcohol presence, strong, very good overall, but not something you could drink all night. Well maybe you could, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Rifugium, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of mactrail
2.75/5  rDev -35.6%

mactrail, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite/tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is perfect. It has a rich and intense malt offering that is balanced well with an equally intense hop aroma. It is quite floral to the nose as well as warm smelling. The taste is good. It has a very bitter hop flavor which seems to carry the taste. The malts compliment the palate, but take a backseat to the hops. It goes down easy and finishes warm and sweet. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It is full of rich flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

WesWes, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

mendvicdog, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 10/04/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey at the Stone Total Tap Takeover event. Vintage 2003.

a - Pours an amber, ruby red color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, bready malts, and chocolate. Sweeter than the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A very good, solid strong ale. Some nice caramel malts and dark fruit in the nose and taste. Would like to have again fresh to compare.

mdfb79, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -6.3%

MarkyMOD, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Fort Worth Flying Saucer Fall beerfest. 2008 vintage.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get a ton of citrus hop character with a lot of caramel malt and alcohol. The flavor is pretty bitter with a lot of juicy orange citrus and pine notes. The caramel malt is present in the flavor but doesn't cut the bitterness too much. The alcohol is also present. The mouthfeel is medium to thick and is very sticky. Medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -18%

beernads, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of jwc215
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage

Pours reddish amber with a thick creamy head that slowly descends to leave of lacing down the glass. Nice retention. The thin head stays throughout.

The smell is of caramel, earthy grains and citrus. Mild alcohol.

The taste is of thick sweet malt upfront - caramel, sweet - barley(?) ...brown sugar. It is balanced out, and beaten out after the second sip - by bitter citrus - orange and grapfruit. Soon, the citrusy, chewy hops fully emerge to overtake the maltiness. The malt, however, remains intact and give the hops a solid backbone. Complex, and the flavors are nicely layered.

The feel is smooth with an incredibly well-balanced texture. The abv is barely noticeable in the taste and feel - leaving it to sneek up on you.

This is an incredible brew - nicely balanced with the hops in control in the end. Fresh, full, tasty and complex. This is an amazing brew. And the beer gods rejoiced...

jwc215, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -6.3%

DrunkinYogi, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Muddy, light brown color. Modest head of one finger, but it lasts a very long time and leaves broken lace rings on the glass.

Aroma: Sherry-like maltiness; moderate grapefruit hop smell. Some pineapple notes as well.

Lots of hops to cut through the heavy malt feel. Alcohol is notable but not the predominant flavor. The potency can be sensed without dictating the taste. Hops are the story here; it's very much like a dark DIPA--perhaps we could call this Triple IPA.

smcolw, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 Release, Sampled November 2004
Wow, this is certainly pungent and fresh smelling, it is a solid punch of citrus hops that is approaching the level of candied fruit. I get notes of apricot, tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, tangelos. The aroma is really quite interesting, and before my first sip of this beer, I am going to hazard a guess that this is the best part of this beer. The beer itself is a brilliant deep amber color that is topped by a creamy tan head.

The taste is definitely not quite as intense as the aroma. It is full bodied, with a certain creamy fullness to it. The taste is definitely hoppified, with a nice mixture of apricot, grapefruit, and an astringent herbal character. This beer is not overly bitter, in fact the bitterness is pretty well in balance, there is a lingering astringency that sticks to my tongue long after the beer has slid down my throat, this seems to be from the copious amounts of hops added. I am sure this will fade with time, but so will the fresh hoppiness that I am enjoying right now.

There are some notes of hot alcohol in the finish as well, but nothing overwhelming. This is not nearly as malt dominated as I remember last years being. Basically this beer is quite tasty, and quite a bit better than I have previously given credit for.

2003 release, Sampled November 2003
A brown head, that as you pour starts deceptively small and then blossoms in my tulip Duvel glass to about 3 inches (7.62 cm for the non-Americans) thick. A hazy amber color with beautiful garnet notes when held up to the light. A malty hoppy aroma, evokes the thought of a sticky sweet hop smell. Surprisingly, very malty was my first thought upon tasting this beer. The hops are there, but not over the top and in your face. This is a thick bodied beer that seems to leave a coating film even after I have swallowed. Definitely hoppy, the more I sip the more I can detect the bitter finish in this beer. A syrupy hop flavor hits your tongue at first, and then finishes with a drying bitterness. Rating 3.7/3.5/3.5/4.0/3.5/3.5

Gueuzedude, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of kojevergas
2.6/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into N'Ice Chouffe stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a dark caramel brown. Semitransparent. Appealing.

Sm: Grapefruit is dominant, with some candied sugar, yeast, and other vague citrus esters. Aroma is mild in strength. It's alright, but it doesn't really jump out and grab me.

T: Pleasant grapefruit is the first thing I notice. The caramel and HEAVY candy sugar, however, are not so pleasant. They do help cover the alcohol - which I don't notice, but it's too sweet overall. I feel like my teeth are rotting with every sip. It's anything but balanced; it needs to tame the candy sugar considerably. It's built alright, but it's far from a good beer.

Mf: Tingly and overly soft from the candy sugar abundance. It's abnormally, artificially soft and it really bothers me. Also, it's too thick.

Dr: They seemed to build the beer around hiding the ABV, and in that respect it succeeds. But the insane amount of candied sugar hides the best aspects of the beer: the citrusy notes and yeast. It may be worth a try for hardcore fans of Belgian beers that rely on candied sugar, but I think most middle of the road beer drinkers will be as turned off as I was.

kojevergas, Nov 18, 2011
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,689 ratings.