Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

6,300 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,300
Reviews: 2,073
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 444
Gots: 1,139 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,300 | Reviews: 2,073
Photo of neonbrown82
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004 bomber obtained from Vintage Cellar.

Wow! This is much different than I remembered it. Much darker with less of a citric taste, and more of a bitter, raisin/fig barleywine taste than I recall. The beer I remember was much more drinkable, but of course this was just after previously splitting a bottle of Stone Russian Imperial Stout with mentor and Woody (the owner of the local beer joint, The Sanctuary). Not to say I don't think it is just as mindblowing of a beer, but it really goes to show how the time & place affect the experience so much.

...Anyways, on to the review of the beer in front of me. This is a very deep maroon color with a bit of a red haze and a decent carbonation that forms a weak white head. Looks great, and just how I'd expect my barleywine to look.

The smell is very fruity and malty, and the hops are plentiful enough to sense the bitterness through the nostrils. Quite intense. I almost can't quit huffing it, but alas, I'm so parched that I need to take another drink.

The taste is of dark fruits and an assload of hoppy bitterness. A bit of a malty and/or yeasty earthy flavor in the initial taste. This bastard is killing my tongue! There's no way I'd be able to review another beer after this, but just for the hell of it, I'm going to see how an Alpha King will follow this up; of course, if I'm still able to drink after this beast..!

The mouthfeel is intensely bitter with a heavy, but not chewy, mouthfeel. The alcohol is definitely there, and leaves an intensely dry finish. This is definitely a sipper, but a damn good one.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby amber. Three fingers of pale tan foam hold extremely well, leaving moderate lace. The smell is mostly roasted malt and dark fruits, with traces of noble hops. The alcoholic aroma becomes pungent as it warms above serving temp. The text written on the back of the bottle helps to prepare you for the punch in the mouth you are about to receive. Taste is a well balanced blend of very sweet burnt malt, fruit esters, and molasses upfront, followed by an eruption of bitter hops and alcohol washing over. Aside from being strong, the mouthfeel is syrupy, with a residual bittersweet aftertaste; one would expect a dryer finish given all the hops, no? If you can finish the entire bomber, you will feel a slight alcohol warmth. Overall, a quality beer that delivers what the marketing promises. However, the Barleywine style is one that should offer the drinker rich sensations of smell, taste, mouthfeel and inebriation; not just try to kick your ass.

Photo of Backer2004
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Okay, after 250+ reviews, I still might not able to handle Barley Wines like their meant to be enjoyed. Appearance is fantastic, 1/4 inch head with great carbonation and solid lacing. The smell alone stopped by wife and dad from even trying it, which is a good thing in my book. Nice malty sweetness followed by strong alcohol. Settles on the stomach and not real easy to finish a 22 oz bottle. As time goes by, I'll enjoy this style more and more.

Photo of robertp1024
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double Bastard, the name fits the beer. This came from an emormous bottle. I believe 3L. With 2 hands, it poured a burnt copper color with decent head. The sccent comes out strong as it pours. DAMN. At first, hops, then hops. The hops were piney and strong. The malts were sweet. Nothing about this barleywine is subtle. The taste is a butt kicker. You can taste so much going on here, plus the alcohol. Dark fruits, like plum, maybe cherries as well as choclate. Don't drink the whole 3L bottle, unless you want to be the bastard. Great beer, great taste, excellent finish.

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

750 ml bottle. 2004 edition, sampled 7/30/2005.

Pours a slightly cloudy burnished copper with medium-sized light tan head and mild lace. Smells sticky sweet; piney, spicy, and full of hops even somewhat aged. Tastes pretty syrupy initially. Lots of caramel malts build into piney hops before drying to a slightly astringent, very spicy, and elegantly vinous woody finish. Thick and sugary in the mouth, with prickly carbonation and big warming alcohol on a rich base.

A bit sticky and overwhelming at the first sip, but finishes quite well and mellows very nicely as it ages. An excellent hop-forward barley wine.

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

Appearance: Double Bastard is dark brown with some ruby highlights. The head is tan and thick, and it dissipates slowly.

Aroma: Sweet and fruity. Malts take control here.

Flavor: Earthy and woody. Spices play on your tongue and the ale feels a little burnt.

Taste: The moment you take a sip, hops hit you. They fill every corner of your mouth sticking around while malt sweetness slowly goes down your throat. And then the warmth of this strong brew hits you from within. This ale "is not to be wasted on the weak." It is quite powerful and flavorful. Feels like malts and hops are competing for your attention.

I think Double Bastard falls into "love it or hate it" category. I love it. This was my choice last time I went camping. All this power goes down smooth in the woods. The best part is once you are done you feel “worthy.”

Tasted from a 22 oz. bomber. 2004 release.

Photo of sagito327
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honestly, without question the best beer I've ever tasted, and I can find not a single flaw. Bought a pint sized bottle from Marty's liquors on Harvard ave. Pours a brown color with a beautiful white head that retains throughout. Lacing is perfect. Smells of fruit, pineapple maybe? Taste is perfection at its most perfectionist. Fruit, hops, and others which my palate cannot pick out. The entire palate tingles. I could drink these all day, or until I passed out.

Photo of palliko
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a luminescent copper that sports a thick white head of foam that sticks around all the way. Aroma has pine, fruit, and massive hops. Initial taste reels from the ethanol vapors, floral/citrus hops, SWEET malt, moves on to brown sugar, tropical fruits, dark chocolate, and finishes with dry bittersweet chocolate, dough, and leaves a clean palate. Gets more complex as the beer warms. Another winner from Stone.

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 Opethsprite
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A cheeky little passage on the bottle warns that "this is one lacerative muther of a beer." Furthermore, I'm sure many of the BAs will cheer loudly at the section in this rant which jabs intently at macro swill. I was expecting something pretty brutal (Yeti, anyone?), but was surprised to find a timid little pup of a beer. NOT to say that it wasn't good, by any means, just...different from what I was expecting.

It poured a deep, reddish brown with a thick, cream-colored head. It smelled of fruit, notably pear and grape, with strands of sweet but faint chocolate. To taste, Double Bastard presented the PERFECT balance of hops and malts. Finishes with a sweet, delicate chocolate. Nothing this lovely can honesty be called Double Bastard. The alcohol content was hidden well...a dangerous thing if you're a lush like me.

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

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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.

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

Poured this 22oz bottle into a large goblet. It was served at 48 degrees.

A slight head formed, but quickly disappeared. No lacing.

The aroma has fruity and spicy with a nice hoppiness.

The first sip for firey and hoppy. The hoppiness seemed to disipate as the beer warmed slightly and my taste buds adjusted. To be fair, I am not a big fan of hoppy beers, but wanted to give this one a shot regardless.

The mouthfeel is clean and refreshing -- with a carbonated feeling.

I will be challenged to finish this bottle, but I am always up to a challenge.

Cheers.

Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper/orange color with a thick cream colored head. It has a great grapefruit rind hop punch up front along with a complex malt profile. Fig, dates, toffee, bourbon and vanilla all come at you in waves. The taste has the same wealth of layers. The bourbon character is more pronounced, the vanilla mellows it nicely, and the sweetness of fig and date is almost hidden. It has a pronounced alcohol warmth, a rich and smooth mouth feel. Very drinkable, very good.

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!

Photo of gimmehead
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby infused deep brown with a beige, coating, sticky head that refuses to die. What can I say about the magnificent aroma? Sweet caramel malts mingling with bittersweet chocolate; bready, somewhat biscuity malt profile; very sweet overall with a raisiny brandy like alcohol quality. No disappointment in the flavor whatsoever. Citric hops that aren't very evident in the nose hit you first, melding into soft sweet malts. Lots of sweetness: sugary and buttery caramel, raisiny and somewhat nutty. Finishes with a sweet, warming alcohol kick. Mouthfeel is very thick and smooth, slightly oily. An agressive beer in both flavor an ABV. Seems to be much along the lines of an old ale or stock ale. Very warming and pretty drinkable at a slow pace. What I call a good reading beer.

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

I finally broke down and gots me one. 2004 release seems to have aged nicely at almost the half way point of 2005. I gave AB very good reviews so I was a bit skeptical when trying a "cousin" so to speak. 22oz. bomber.

Pours a wonderfully devilish red. Very intense head carbonation that quickly dissipated leaving a thin top lacing.

Huge fruit tastes, nicely balanced, acidic followed by sweet- grapes to apples if you will. Like all good beers the emanations are a precursor to what it tastes like (or should taste like). All the superlatives from above but add a serious alcohol kick, warming, buzzy, won't allow you to type correctly.

A wonderful offering from Stone....again. Very nice, I think I might punish myself one night and have two of these bad boys.

Photo of karst
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh 750ml bomber - no freshness dates.
Deep redish copper with light tanish creamy head with good retention and some lace.

Fruit aroma well blended alcohol, malt and pine hops.

Extremely sweet taste follows fullbody. Complex flavor (improving as it warms
) of caramel, burnt sugar, chocolate, pineapple, deep penetrating alcohol, citrus and pine. Dry finish with burnt aftertaste overcomming the sweetness.

Very drinakble for a 10% abv, consider it a barleywine, drink safely.

Thanks Joe hope you enjoyed the Hop Rod I brought over on brew day "here is to us" and the doomesday brew machine that we constructed.

Photo of JackStraw22
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Had this in a 3L bomber, quite an intimidating bottle. Pours a hazy orangish/brown with a big ol' creamy head. The aroma is incredibaly sweet, tons of malt with a nice hop profile. The taste really knocks your socks off. Malt galore, almost syrupy sweet. Bready and yeasty, plums, raisins all come through. The hops kick in, but aren't overpowering. This is one of the only barleywines I've had that really showcase malts more than hops. Very different. Can't say the drinkability is great, I wanted more, but it really kicked my ass.

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

This was a lovely clear red beer with a three finger tan foamy head that lasted for a while. Good shit!

The aroma was slightly sweet, as expected. There was rich fruity malt, pine-like hops, and a hint of mustiness.

Taste was bitter, with musty malt, roasted barley and caramel, hints of vanilla, and alcohol. The alcohol was powerful, but in character.

Mouthfeel was nice and chewy, a little thick, and quite good. Drinkability would be a 4.5 but for the power of the alcohol.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rust color...quite cloudy.
Head is a full finger of light tan head...thick, sudsy lace that has awesome cling to the side of my tulip glass.
Aroma is a subtle malty sweetness...raisins and hops w/ just a faint hint of alcohol.
Taste in very enjoyable..a thick malty goodness w/ a huge hop presence. Alcohol is well hidden in this brew. Mainly rum raisin and cherries in its flavor.
Mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is spot on for its style.
Drinkability is great for 10%...this bomber will be gone in no time.
Thanks to JackStraw22 for the push to pull this one out from the cellar.

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

Mothers Day 2005. Perhaps not the best way to honor my mother, but...

Appearance:
An aggressive pour brought out a head that would make rootbeer proud, big fat bubbles sitting on a creamy looking base. A pretty copper/ruby color, with a nice train of carbonation running up the sides. Left thick lace as the level of beer receeded.

Stink:
When I stick my nose into my glass, it is greeted by a tangy plum raisins alchohol bouquet. Yeasty biscuits come to mind too.

Taste:
Fruity. Apples, mostly, but certainly an undercurrent of something else. Warming alchohol follows everything, and provides a little tang.The biscuty malt provides a base for everything, the hops are very mild, but show up as the beer warms.

Feel:
Smooth, yet solid. The subdued hop presence never the less provides a bit of oil to the feel, the complexities of the flavor a little tang. It feels solid, thick.

Drinka:
Whew. Drinkable, but a sipper. A lot going on with the beer, all of it good. Halfway through a glass (which was only half a big bottle) I can feel it, a pleasant warmth that I can't attribute to the spring sunshine.

Overall:
An interesting beer. I like it, but it is a sipper, a thinker of a beer. Not something I would sit at the back deck (if I had one) and drink, but an enjoyable beer for sure. I have yet to finish the bottle, but I certainly won't be driving anywhere this mothers day, thanks to the bastard.

Photo of oberon
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of HardTarget
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber, 2003 release (cellared in fridge @ 45 degrees; sampled 4/2005)

Aroma: Rich dark fruit and a Cascade like grapefruit note that almost burns it’s so prominent. There are some vinous qualities, almost a brandied raisin smell. Alcohol is present, but infused with so many nice things.

Appearance: Half finger of tan head at the pour quickly evaporated before my eyes to some traces of bubbles . Glass is amber-plum colored and semi-opaque letting enough light through to show clarity and color, but little else.

Flavor: Maybe it’s the aging, but I’m amazed on how mellow and smooth this is. Rich dark malt holds all the fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and dates. Firm but not harsh hop character comes in about mid taste showing strength to cut the sweetness, but restraint in only letting a mild hop flavor and burn come through. A very mild alcohol taste in the finish, but only a playful tickle where it should be a crushing fist. As it warms a bit of a roasted malt and tobacco flavor comes through.

Mouthfeel: Serious chew called for; the body is very full and rich. A nice dry finish as well. Only traces of carbonation noted which really fits the overall profile of this beast. It numbed everything it came in contact with.

Overall Impression: Wow. Scary how easy it is to drink. Where this should be an assault on many levels, it’s more of a subversion; the dagger in the back from a treacherous lover rather than the jackboot of a thug. I could drink another bomber and wake up in front of my computer tomorrow; damn the torpedoes. I cellared this for close to two years to celebrate a long project. As it turned out, it’s more consolation than celebration, but it would serve either purpose nicely. Strongly recommended.

Mad props to an outstanding BA: weefishheads for the trade. He traded with me as a newbie BA and showed me what an outstanding community this really is. Sorry you had to wait so long on the review.

"Ye shall know the Bastard, and the Bastard shall set you free."

2015 Edit, on of the granddaddies of the craft brew go big movement, but a lot of other great beers have gone beyond where this now sits.
Taking taste down to 4.5 and over all down to 4.5 (from 5s)

Photo of MrSeth
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've become very partial to Double Bastard over this past winter. It's made many a session rewarding.

The smell is like fruitcake.. citrus, cherry, nuts and spiced bread. Hops and alcohol lurk in the background....

The taste is of huge malt.. all sorts of fruity flavors may be noted.. and a strong bitter hops finish. The taste has nuttiness and a deep over-ripe cherry flavor. Sweet with a touch of puckering tartness at the end.

The alcohol creeps out as you continue to drink Double Bastard. Surprising the first time you notice that to go with the huge malt and hops is an equally formidable alcohol in this ABW.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,300 ratings.