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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.

2,041 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,041
Hads: 6,356
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 5.4%
Wants: 460
Gots: 1,171 | FT: 40
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,041 | Hads: 6,356
Photo of Duff27
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage on tap

A- Dark brown with a thick(!!!) slightly off-white head. Solid lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Hint of cherries and possible caramel malt.

T- Caramel malts. Bordering on barleywine style. Boozy but not too much...alcohol kick at the end. More of the faint cherries. A real treat.

M- Smooth and creamy. Not much carbonation.

D/O- Damn, for 10.5%abv this drinks incredible. I want to drink this faster than I should. Wow. Props to Finnegan's in Plainfield, IL for shooting for the "Most Arrogant Bar in America"...$2 vintage Double Bastard pints? Yeah, I travelled 2 hours for this. (611 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

A - Pours ~2 fingers of head that hangs around with just average retention. Color is a beautiful pumpkin amber.

S - Mild aroma (I wish I let it warm up a bit, at 11% I wouldn't be surprised if it opens up). Soft woody hops. Touch of melon.

T - Opens super smooth, in a way that lends a good bit of anticipation for the flavor profile. Alcohol is the first character to the party, slowly building and warming your mouth. Touch of milk chocolate, lots of medium toast, some brown sugar, dried dates. It reminds me a lot of a lighter Belgium quad. Hops are the star of the middle profile, showing up with woody cedar and smoky bitters, and stay there through the aftertaste.

M - Fantastic. Incredibly smooth. The alcohol isn't hidden but it isn't sharp on your palate either. The mouthfeel gets even better as it warms.

D - The hops are strong enough to slow you down, and while not harsh in your mouth, the alcohol lets you know it's there. That said, it's delicious enough that your tolerance is a more likely bottleneck than your palate. (1,056 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 properly cellared bottle tasted in late 2011. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium to dark orange amber with a one finger very light fine tan head and lacing. Looks nice. Delicious aroma of dark fruit, intense caramel malt and a hint of citrus. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Taste is well integrated citrus, dark fruit, citrus (especially orange) and malt, changing to an astringent and long lasting bitter finish. The start is absolutely well integrated and delicious, but the finish is just too bitter without an herbal balance. This is a 2009 cellared bottle and I note that the astringency of the finish was an issue for me with the fresh bottle. I hope this mellows out in a year or so. This is a delicious beer with a somewhat flawed finish. (770 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1 1/2" of tan head over the clear deeply copper brew. Head is resilient, long-lasting, and laces amazingly, with solid foam being left down the side as the head recedes. Aroma is the solid, sweet scent common to most strong ales, tending towards a bit of fruitiness if one can bypass the obvious alcohol presence. Taste is, as expected sweetly malty, but well contrasted by the strong hops presence, which almost seem to provide a grainy feel to the tongue, they are so strongly present. Mouthfeel is great for the style, and drinkability is good, although I fear eventually the malt sweetness might get a bit tiring. An excellent strong ale. (769 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a semi-cloudy orangeish-mahogany with over an inch of light tan head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly bitter hops with some sweet malt undertones. There was also a bit of yeasty spice hiding in there. On the tongue, alcohol was the dominant taste, followed by hops, malt and spice.

The body was pleasingly full, but a bit too sticky-sweet. Drinkability was good, but a little rough due to the alcohol taste.

Overall, a decent beer that's much better than the original AB. Certainly worth trying. (561 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured similar to its little brother, a dark crimson red which was topped off by a flat sandy beige colored head which quickly fell. A moderately fair lacing was left afterwards. Perhaps most intriquing was its dark brooding nature.

S: The nose was pungent and evident from the first pour with the Chinook hops providing dried grapefruit scents mixed with pine. A nice malty aroma filled with light roasted character blends nicely with the dried citrusy nature.

T: The flavor was malty, with dried pine and grapefruit hopping. A sugary malting lies underneath the rich, and dried hoppy character. Boozy with some warm alcohol and cask notes with a dry flowery lacing coats the tongue after the swallow. Really smooth overall with some light dried fruitiness of raisins as well some bitter chocolate hints.

M: warm and luscious, with an oily viscosity medium full in nature and a light to moderate carbonation showing

D: Drinkability was good I thought, much smoother and refined then the original bastard. A dark ale that was rich, malty and arrogant, yet somehow very smooth and easy to put down despite its abv. (1,122 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich tawny brown with a nice cloudiness, one finger of light tan foam atop. It looks pleasing.

Smell: rich, sweet malt aroma with hints of plums. Hops are big, peppery, spicy and a little floral. Quite nice.

Taste: whoa. Malt is very big with a flavor of plum-tobacco hard candy. This beer is quite sweet. Hops are as in the aroma, although they seem a little more floral than peppery here. It's hard to compete with this malt. Alcohol is quite present. Overall, very good, but very ... big.

Mouthfeel: thick, heavy, syrupy with very little carbonation. A nice mouth-coating leaves plenty of opportunity to revel in the flavor. Very little carbonation on this bad boy.

Drinkability: I must not be worthy. It is delicious but HUGE in flavor and alcohol. Screw brandy, Saint Bernards should carry casks of this stuff to stranded Alpine skiers. (896 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This had a little more sherry flavour, but seemed just as smooth, if not smoother, than its little brother: the Arrogant Bastard! It is quite bold, but not at all harsh.

A: Dark caramel, with an off-white head. Some retention, with nice lacing.

S: Sherry & pine, with malty goodness.

T: Initially slightly sweet, with sherry, chocolate and fruity caramel flavours. Some warming pine in the middle. Slightly bitter in the finish... but VERY smooth.

M: Full syrupy body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation.

D: Truly is exceptional for a beer of this strength. (Though some may not like the Chinook hops).

Thanks Kevin! (644 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought myself a 65 cl long-necked brown bottle. The label is really cool-looking; red & white with two devils (bastards) - one white, one red.

A: It pours very cloude brown/red with a reddish head, quite small, but compact, oh how compact. The slow dissipation leaves very rich lacings.

S: American floral as well as bitter hops in great balance. Citric and piney. Sweet caramell malt. Very complex. Fruity and flowery. Faint chocolate and dark dried fruits.

T: Syrupy piney. Sweet caramell malt. FLoral and bitter hops. Citric - pineapple. Very complex.

M: The aftertaste lingers for quite some time and holds both syrupy sweetness and dry bitterness. The body is full and the carbonation is light.

D: You'll get what you pay for - I bought it in Sweden for ~$13 - worth every penny.
Macro-beers: eat your hearts out!!! (828 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a reddish brown with a thin white head that left very little lacing on the glass.

S: caramel malts pop out at first whiff alongside hops and booze. It has sweet candy and fruit notes as well.

T: the caramel malts are also big on the taste with nice bitter hops and boozy accents. It also has plums, slight citrus, and with faint brown sugar notes.

M: medium body with a low amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but bitter and boozy finish.

D: actually is a very nice sweet hop brew that is pretty drinkable but does pack a punch. I just had a 2000 vintage double bastard and it tasted like a barleywine so you can sit on it for a decade and it will still taste good. (689 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004: Mostly clear, deep red with orangish highlights. Thick, dense, off-white head that showed very good retention and lacing. Big, balanced aroma profile combining rich maltiness with fresh citrus and piney hops. Again, the flavour was a wonderful balance strong, caramel maltiness and aggressive hop bitterness and flavour. There's also a very light fruitiness present. Complex finish, dry and long with plenty of bitterness, alcohol warmth and pine resin flavours. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a smooth, creamy texture. This is an awesome beer, surprisingly well balanced and drinkable considering the huge flavours and high abv. (644 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 11/14/12

A- Pours a deep amber with reddish hues and a voluptuous off-white head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- Pungent aroma of ripe, dark fruits (figs, plums), caramel, and a hint of banana. A bit of piney hop aroma pushes through along with a little bready yeast. Super complex nose!

T- The first thing I notice about the taste is that it has a lot of roasty malt and a lot more hop-bitterness than expected from the nose. This is a thick, bready, and complex beer! The caramel sweetness takes over in the middle of the palate before giving way to some fig and raisin. It goes out with a bang, assaulting your palate with a load of dry, bitter, piney/grassy hops.

M- Thick, and doesn't hide the booziness much.

O- This beer lives up to the hype! Can't wait to try my other bottle w/ a year or so on it! (844 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle
2006 vintage

A- Pours a dark brownish amber with a light tan head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S- The aroma features a really nice malt base with dark fruits and hops. Wow, the malt in this one smells great.

T- Like the aroma, the taste features a deliciously smooth malt backbone to start off, with the hops coming in the finish to provide a nice bitterness.

M- Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- This brew is way too drinkable for a 10% ABV beer. Sure, the alcohol is noticeable in the taste and warming finish, but this one is dangerously drinkable and is almost begging you to take sip after sip.

Overall, Double Bastard is another fabulous brew from Stone that I highly recommend. If you don't like extreme beers, stay away from this one. (792 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, with very nice looking head, and a lot of lacing. The smell is HOPS, but a very fresh hop smell, floral citrus, very little alcohol can be detected in the nose. The taste is a dense malty backbone balanced perfectly with hops. This is the most perfectly balanced beer I've ever had. You know theres a shitload of malt and a shitload of hops, but neither of them have the advantage. Insanely full mouthfeel, and just an excellent ale. Thanks a lot DrJay! (481 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a clear red with a 1 finger head of foam which shrinks during the session to a fine layer with lots of lacing.

The smell is very malty with lots of caramel. Nice. There's also a fairly faint, compared to the malt, nose of hops.

The taste has notes of caramel malt up front followed by some fruit(black cherry), and citrus and piney hops and a pretty big dose of alcohol.
Lots of warming during and after the swallow.

The more sips I take, the less I notice the alcohol and now I'm able to really start focusing on the flavours and man, it's so tasty and so well balanced that I don't want the bottle's contents to leave. *Very* nice sipping Strong Ale and with its creamy smooth mouthfeel and nicely done light carbonation, this is certainly a great brew worthy of its reputation. Highly recommended. (818 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep cherry wood / mahogany tone. Thin beige head leaves spotty lace. Aroma is quite malty. Sweet. And some NW hoppiness to it as well. More malt than hops on this nose though. The body of this beer is full and has a viscous feel to it. Mouthfeel is actually quite creamy. This, along with the nice taste, leads to a high drinkability even though it's 10%. The taste is quite exotic. A virtual cornucopia of fruit flavors. Passion fruits. Pineapple. Ripe melon. Grapefruit rind. All this is accompanied by a noticeable EtOH heat and a high alpha acid hop bitterness. The malt tones are what really make this beer great though. The toffee and caramel tones are quite delicious. What an accomplishment in brewing. This is a dandy. (728 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Opened on 3.17.13
2011 3l swing-top bottle.

A - Pours a light hazy orange with an explosive off-white head. Great retention and streaks of lacing left on the glass.

S - A bit oxidized, and some strong sweet malts and older faded hops.

T - Just as the nose. A bit oxidized, but it really didn't take much away from the taste.

D - Tons of carbonation and a medium body.

O - Ok, the fun part was pouring the big boy bottle, but I don't think this is really the way to age a bottle. (489 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Warning, this is a huge beer. Big dark ruby and brown pour, massive amounts of everything.

If there was ever a beer that is a malt bomb and uber hoppy, this is it. Chewy, but oh so bitter. Chinook smack to it. Mouthfeel is so puckering. Share this one with someone. Good price for what goes into it, but damn if you'll have two of these in a sitting.

This beer is challenging. Full of a ton of ingredients. But its good, but oh so warming. (441 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 650ml bomber poured into tulip 29/4/13 cheers Rutager for sending the bottle

A clear red shade of amber with a few bubbles streaming up the side of the glass, a short lived two finger foam leaves just a few polka dots of lace

S burnt brown sugar and caramels are strong, slightly nutty, with just a little booze, some candied fruit but I can't quite pick it out, has some liqueur aspect I can't really place and a little bourbon

T a little pine I didn't smell and some citric hops, seeing how this from 2011 I can only imagine what a palate wrecker this would've been fresh, the caramels are still strong but the bourbons gone, I know this isn't BB aged but I could smell it

M a little syrupy with low carbonation, a little sticky on the lips with a little grit on the gums, pine and rind on the finish with just a little heat

O I think I may have caught this one in between being a fresh hop bomb and well aged barley wine, pretty solid stuff but a rare situation where I want a young or old bottle to compare to this one in the middle

went down smooth for a big beer, I think this one could fit into a few styles depending on its age, well worth trying and I'll look for both fresh and aged bottles in the future (1,231 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a one-finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma has raisin and currant in the nose with a subtle alcohol warmth.

Taste is sweet upfront with a decent kick of citrus hop bitterness and raisin, followed by a strong kick of alcohol warmth that coats the throat and a decent amount of malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is warm with the citrus hop bitterness and raisin flavor sticking out the most, followed by the alcohol warmth.

I like this. Reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, except that there's more focus on the alcohol part. It reminds me of what I enjoy about Arrogant Bastard and as a result, I enjoy its bigger cousin. Definitely a sipping beer that's worth your time. (697 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty menacing look amber. A little bloody even with hints of rust and cinnamon. But you can still see some medium bubbling. The head is strong and noble, leaving a thick, bready, filmy foam as well as sporadic lacing. The aroma is a spicey mix of hops, sudgey amber malts, and alcohol. The red grapefruit aroma with this beer is pretty good. The taste was a little discouraging. Was good, but a little stronger than I was hoping. The alcohol was integrated with the hops and malts very well. Sometimes I think it cut out some of that dry amber malt smack I just love. The Grapefruity hops and alcohol were ok. Or at least make up for some of my dissapointment. The palate is cleansing and has a nice burn to it. Keeps the chest a little warm actually.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but still pretty good. I think this beer has some aging potential. (859 characters)

Photo of bark
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

The colour is deep brown with a tint of red; the two finger head is firm and beige. Lots of lacing occurs.

The medium strong smell is very hoppy (but not very bitter) in an American citric way. But at the same time, there are large quantities of lightly roasted hops to balance the hops: The grapefruits are mixed with plums, raisins and candied oranges. There is some alcohol too, but not as much as one could think.

The taste is very balanced: loads of dried fruits (plums, raisins, figs) and walnuts, some sour hints of lemons, lots of round sweet flavours. Fruit candy, fresh vegetables, grilled meat and an impressive balanced and luxurious feel. The aftertaste got a warming alcoholic flavour, dried fruits, very elegant bitterness that keeps in the background. The finish reminds a little of fine Scottish lowland whiskey and Christmas desserts.

The carbonation is mild, yet refreshing. The liquid is thick and creamy.

Does this style get better than this? I think it is hard to imagine such a beer. (1,029 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a brownish/red color, with about an inch off-white head. It smells very nice, like caramel, hops, cherries and a bit of a spicy smell. It tastes very hoppy, like grapefruit, pine and some malt. Overall the taste is very strong and hoppy, and a bit harsh at times. The mouthfeel is almost syrupy, it's on the thicker side and it's full bodied. Drinkability is good but not excellent. I don't think I could drink more than one of these at a time, but I would definitely drink it again. (522 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, sampled fresh. I bought it as soon as it hit the shelves in Ohio.

Poured into pint glasses, ruby red color with juicy tan head (but with no retention, it poofs away as quickly as it appears). The aroma is barley winish IPA, hoppy with a medicinal strength. The flavor is aggresive and burning, filled with grapefruit and alcohol.

Really nice but not my favorite Stone beer. I wouldn't say I'm wimping away from the DB, it's just that Stone 10th and even Ruination are so much better tasting. (513 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got the 2006 version on-tap at the GA release.

Pours a cloudy dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes slowly but eventually settles into a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is sticky at first but near the end there's not much of it.

Smells very good. Big malt sweetness up front followed by a bigger piney hop aroma. It smells like a big beer.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Malty sweetness followed by a slight citrus hop flavor and ending with a piney and bitter finish. The flavors meld flawlessly and the only hint of the alcohol is the warming sensation. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is great. It has a great thickness to go along with very subtle carbonation. Incredibly smooth.

Drinkability is also great. I wouldn't guess that it was 10%, and I could easily drink a few of these.

Overall, this was my introduction to Stone and it did not disappoint. The hops were still big even after the two years of aging. I'm excited to try a more recent version of this to see how it stacks up. (1,025 characters)

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,041 ratings.