Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

6,038 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,038
Reviews: 2,018
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 393
Gots: 949 | FT: 33
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: 6,038 | Reviews: 2,018 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of Genuine
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged a 3-liter bottle of this for 9 months..(probably not textbook aged) but decided to open it up and share among friends this past weekend.

Poured a nice dark-reddish in color, with an off white head.

Smell - lots of hops in this one, some citrus.

Taste - this is where it all comes together...obviously very hoppy, you can still taste the alcohol at 10.5% but it goes down smoothly. Tastes better when it warms up a bit.

Mouthfeel - This one felt a bit chunk, probably due to the carbonation, but doesn't take away from it at all.

Drinkability - Based on taste, I could have a few of these...based on alc. percentage, i could only have a couple of these. This is a very big beer!

Photo of mmercede
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle aged for 2+ years. Poured into a liqueur glass.

Appearance: Dark brown and cloudy. typical of a barley wine. Light head that quickly dies down. Nothing special.

Smell: The best characteristic of this ale. As soon as the bottle was popped, I could smell this beer strongly...as if I had my nose in the glass! Smelled of sour cherries, citrus, dark malts, whiskey, caramel, roasted coffee, and chocolate.

Taste: The taste was very boozy from the get go. Bourbon, coffee, caramel, chocolate, brandy, some fruity tartness, and a light bitterness. As far as fruit goes citrus and tart cherries dominate the palate. Very complex and strong!

Mouthfeel: A bit thick as I expected. However, not oily like some strong ales. The carbonation is light and hardly noticeable upon swallowing.

Drinkability: A great beer, however I would not have more than one in a sitting. I am definitely looking forward to trying one agin though.

Photo of theghost3
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.

Pours a translucent caramel with some ruby highlights. Color reminds me of bourbon. The head is frothy, light yellow, and there's minimal lacing.

The smell is malty, caramel, slight herbal hops, and booze. The flavor is aggressive--herbal, roasted malts, and booze (whiskey) with some caramel. Mouthfeel burns the palate--carbonated at first but then just crisp as it goes down. Medium-bodied.

I liked this, but one glass is enough. That ABV really takes a toll. Would go well with BBQ or an earthy cheese.

Photo of newk340
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer 3 of Bastard Bash

A: a darkened apple cider color with a voluminous foam head and gorgeous lacing.

S: hints of hops underlie a sweet smelling malt tapestry.

T: a swift kick in the mouth that hurts so good. the tongue is assaulted with malts and wheat with a perfectly sweetened cherry aftertaste.

MF/D: no lingering feelings in the mouth, flavors dissipate quickly making the tongue thirst for more. thank you sir, may i have another?

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

22 oz bottle into pint glass. 2009 version (its now mid-September 2010).

Pours reddish brown, slightly amber with a little haze. The head is thin but reasonable and is a little orange in color. It left behind a lot of lacing on my glass. A little carbonation is visible but not much.

The smell is fairly potent. I mostly get the malt and booze. There are also some hints of fruit and hops in there as well.

The taste is dominated by the malt and the alcohol like the aroma is. Its not as hoppy as Arrogant Bastard is by any means and definitely was not as bitter, so its a very sweet beer. There are also hints of fruit. It strangely tastes more like a barley wine than Arrogant Bastard.

The mouthfeel is that its very full bodied. The 10.5% ABV definitely is noticeable and I think that's what Stone was going for with this one.

Drinkability wise, its very easy to drink despite the forwardness of the alcohol because of how sweet it is. I had to pace myself purposefully to take it slow and enjoy this beer.

Overall, I really liked this beer. I had been unable to find it when it came out but happened upon a bottle of it while buying other beer in a local store so I knew I had to pick it up. It is very good and I'll be stocking up on bottles to age if I find any new ones in the future. It was definitely worth the wait and proves why Stone Brewing remains my favorite brewery.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass

Had 2006, 2007 and 2009 versions

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a medium to thin beige head on it that stays throughout the drinking of the brew.

The smell was of roasted malt, hops and alcohol.

The taste was strong, bold and upfront with aromas of hops and roasted malt. The alcohol has thinned out and melded well with the rest of the flavors in the 06 but the separation could be noted from the 06 to the 07 and then much stronger in the 09. The 09 boasts a 10.5% ABV while the 06 and 07 were straight 10%. Aging this beer does very well if done correctly.

The mouthfeel differed from the years. The 06 was smoother than you'd normally expect from a Bastard but it still had that spicy bit to it from the Belgian yeast strand and alcohol. The 09 was more aggressive on the palette but didn't put off the will to drink.

This beer means business. I'm a fan of the Arrogant Bastard and this bigger brother makes a decent mark. Can't have too many of these but a must try.

Photo of bohemiandonut
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 version.

Perfect for my Peanuts era Welch's mini-jar.

Nice and creamy ecru head, murky orange caramel body. Head could be thicker but for the style it's not bad. Swirls up readily. Label and artwork on the bottle get this an A++.

Smells and feels like a Stone heavy-hitter. Stone hops amidst boozy caramel with notes of roasted malts. The hints of chocolate and coffee add a nice depth to what is a mostly toffee/caramelized-orange-peel concoction. Can't help but wish there was a bit more chocolate. Bit of anise in there too. A lot to ponder over.

Tastes like all of the above. I can't help treating this like a barleywine, though it's supposed to be an Arrogant Bastard hybrid. Either way, this ale would be just fan-fuckin-tastic if it were oaked or -baled to any extent. That Bastardly bitterness comes on late and careful with its spartan hops and bourbony-sweet thickness.

This doesn't quite blow me away as for the style (or "Strong Ale"), but it certainly fills out the Stone lineup nicely. For a single drink I would probably look elsewhere. With a bit of mellowing, again, this could be an exceptionally out-of-this world beer.

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

Reviewed from notes on 8-6-10.

A: Pours a dirty, murky brown-amber into my snifter. A medium pour yields a tiny head that leaves behind a clumpy, long lasting beige film that cover the majority of the beer. The carbonation bubbles mosey at a medium march. A parabolic arch of lacing is left behind with each sip, which breaks into dots and snaky lines. This beer looks mysterious.

S: A thick, musty caramel malt scent is the biggest player in the smell play. This is very sweet smelling with some raisin, fig, and plum notes also prominent. A banana breadiness is also climbing into my nose, along with a slight citrus hop presence. DB smells huge and delicious and it makes me very excited to drink it.

T: Musty, sweet caramel malts are also the dominant taste, but there is an earthy hop bitterness accompanying the malts that I did not pick up in the smell. This hop presence certainly does not balance the sweetness, but it does add a wonderful cleansing of the palate at the finale of each pull. The raisin, plum, fig, and banana bread notes that I found in the smell add a nice complexity to the overall taste and round out a big and phenomenal beer.

M: DB is creamy and full bodied with an appropriate hop bite at the finish. The sweetness really coats the palate with a nice film and then the hop cleansing dries off the film nicely.

D: Well, it took me the better part of two hours to drink this behemoth, so I'm not sure how "drinkable" is really is, but do know this: it's damned good and I really enjoyed exploring its nuances.

Photo of Spica66
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Release - 22 oz bottle poured into tulip.

Got this as an extra from GoGriz. Thanks, Cody!

A: Very dark amber, thick-looking pour. Light khaki head with excellent formation and retention. Very nice looking in the glass!

S: Strong is the first word that comes to mind. Strong maltiness, strong sugar, strong hops (sort of earthy smell to the hops). Quite a pleasant assault on the nose!

T: Wow! Very intense flavors. Roasted malts, caramel, slightly fruity. Hops give a really strong show on the aftertaste. This beer reminds me of NOTHING that I have ever had before!

M: Full-bodied, creamy, smooth. The 10.5% shows itself, but you don't seem to notice because your tongue is using every bit of your available brain power trying to process the wonderful taste overload...

D: This bottle disappeared so fast that it should come with a warning not to have more than one in the house at a time.

This is going on my favorites list!

Photo of infi
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release, 22 oz. bomber. Shared with BA brun.

Poured into a tumbler.

Pours a murky brown-red color that releases a tan/light brown head that slowly dissipates to a thin and loosely bubbled cap, with little to no lacing on the glass. Smell is immensely malty with a strong and sugary dark fruitiness towards the back-end. Huge candied sugared aromas, which overpowers any hoppy presence in the aroma. Something notably new, especially compared to regular Arrogant Bastard.

Taste is initially sweet and malty, but then ends on a huge earthy and piney bitterness from the hops. Truly double the hops and malts in every aspect. The bitterness is especially notable in the flavor profile. The 10.5% is quite noticeable in every sip too. As the glass warms, the fruitiness and candied sugars become even more prominent and the hop bitterness becomes a bit more muted and less as prevalent towards the end. Quite an experience for a monster beer.

Mouthfeel is beautifully smooth and full-bodied, considerably more than original AB. Considerable bitterness towards the end, but not too overpowering. Drinkability is a bit moderate, especially for how bitter and boozy it is. It might be rough for some people and yet desirable for others. A totally different monster from AB. Really worth a try nonetheless.

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

2008 release purchased aged.

A- Good size yellow brownish head. Slight reddish hue to the muddy light ice-coffee brown liquid. Big patches of lace with holes in them look like skulls.

S- Seems tamer or just like Arrogant Bastard. Some chocolate raisin, pine and grapefruit. Candied fruit and caramel. Like a chocolate covered maraschino cherry.

T- Oh,okay. I get the Double now. I would've liked more but this is pretty rough. These are some tough hops. Very intense making it hard for me to concentrate and pick out all the flavors. Here is what I managed to get: Great but strong alcohol taste no matter the temperature. Pine and grapefruit rind. Lots of malt, that counters more than it balances. Is this a hop bomb or a malt bomb? Both but, I think, in the end, the hop aroma and bitterness are what you remember.

M- Medium to high carbonation. Full bodied. Sticky. You can feel the tingly numbness on your lips from the hop oils, minutes after your last sip.

D- A real treat. A DIPA blast combined with RIS fullness and satisfaction. For how rough this is, drinkablity is amazing. I want more.

A super beer. Super satisfying. Obviously some people won't like this because of how busy it is but I recommend it to all. Even if you don't like it, it'll be quite the experience... just don't pour it down the drain... pass it on to a friend instead.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 10.5% ABV, Age at Cellar temp (55°F) or below. 2009 Release.

Thanks to sweemzander for this bottle!

A - DB pours out quietly with some viscosity. Hazy brown amber in color, it's topped by a dense light khaki head with great retention and minor patchy lace clinging to the glass.

S - Double the bastard, double the malts I suppose. This one is both a hop and malt bomb. Tons of gooey caramel and toasted dense bread make up the heavy amber malt nose. Lots of earthy hops come though in support as well. Decently balanced and really strong.

T - What a punch in the mouth even at about a year old. Thick roasted amber malts, sticky caramel, and dense bread really come out strong with an almost minor dark fruity alcohol kick to it. No booziness but the alcohol is definitely there. Strong earthy and floral bitter hops kick the end into high gear.

M - Massively full-bodied and rich with a smooth and throat-coating viscosity, the alcohol isn't so much tasted as it is felt in the finish that's got a lot of warming sensation. Largely bitter and sharp too, the mouthfeel of Double Bastard is pretty complex.

D - Still drinkable for how rich it is, this strong ale is double the bastard to you when the bottle is finished I'm sure. A nice beer with good profiles going on here.

Photo of uhhhaaron
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

consumed 03-17-2010, 22oz bomber into snifter.

I was totally blown away by this brew. I was expecting this to be super hoppy and a beefed up version of AB, but i was wrong. But its a good thing! this thing is so drinkable it almost brings a tear to my eye. smell was the AB smell but more sweet and boozy. taste was magnificent. Hops, sweet malt, caramel, burnt resin, citrus, pine, grapefruit, pineapple, booze. but it goes down so smooth. you do get that burning sensation going down, but its bearable. delicious ass beer.

very similar traits to an American Barley Wine.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 1/1/10 (just after the turn of the new year)

2009 vintage

Medium brown color. Rather dense & very murky. Not quite pond-water-murky but close. Hues of amber, copper & rust. One finger head dissipates to a patch of bubbles & a thin skim around it. Swirling congers some bubbles but retention is thin. Some initial lacing but it's gone by the end.

Robust malt aromas; toffee & caramel upfront with hints of candied malts & darker sugars. Brown sugar notes & hints of molasses. Candied fruit undertones. Faint earthy notes, too. Not particularly hoppy.

Hops are more appreciable to taste than in the nose. Moderate piney bitterness upfront that leads into an intense malt profile that is strikingly similar to the nose - lots of toffee, caramel, brown sugar & candied malts. More sweet than bitter but not drastically disproportionate. Faint notions of fresh baked sweet & dark breads.

Full bodied with moderately low carbonation. Ample amount of resiny grit - very nice. Toasted & burnt malts linger on the finish with a touch of bitterness.

Bold? Yes. Intense? Sure. "Sublime extacy?" I don't know if I'd go that far. Nevertheless, it's something of a force with which to reckon.

Photo of BDJake
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally decided I was going to go balls out and buy the $85 101.4 oz bottle that's been sitting at Whidbey Beer Works for the last six months, and here's my take:

A- dark, translucent copper with an inch of foamy, beige head that laces and sticks around for quite some time

S- sticky sweet molasses, fig, butterscotch, caramel, and maybe a bit of raisins

T- sweet, syrupy caramel malts, fig, molasses, some hop bitterness and a strong dose of alcohol

M- very heavy, with a dry, bitter finish and tons of alcohol warmth

D- I clearly couldn't polish off two of these behemoth bottles, but I'd probably be reaching for another after I finished a bomber of this

Photo of jmdrpi
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 release bomber

A- a bright clear copper color with darker highlights, with a nice soft 1/2" thick off-white head that remains to the bottom of the glass. tremendous lacing left behind.
S- smell is of floral hops, but as in warms, changes to more of a milder spicy aroma
T- taste starts off malty, a little sweet. then hops flavor builds through the finish. very well balanced and blended flavors.
M- full bodied, creamy head, which seems counter-intuitive for the color of the brew, but much appreciated.
D- no hint of the increased ABV. overall, a fantastic beer that definitely one-ups the "regular" arrogant bastard. no problem polishing off the bomber myself fairly quickly

Photo of mjaskula
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a sniffer. I haven't had the regular arrogant bastard in a while, so I can't make that comparison, if it were appropriate.

The beer is a nice dark red color with a huge tan head. The head thins, but sticks around and leaves a bit of lacing.

Big Sweet malt fills the aroma, there's carmel and dark fruits. It ends with some pine aroma from the hops. The flavor starts off sweet malty and viscous, matching the aroma, and it's followed by huge hop flavor and bitterness. Lots of pine comes through and the bitterness is strong. After that it dries right up. The alcohol is well hidden. The carbonation is moderately low and fits well with the beer. Overall I really like this beer, it is surprisingly drinkable for its size.

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

thick off-white head, a nice clear ruby red body. lacing is great.
the aroma is not as arrogantly strong as i thought it would be. i get caramel malt and hop aroma. i can tell there is plenty of it in there, but its pretty straightforward.
taste is stronger than the aroma. well balanced between malts and hops. not an alcohol taste to speak of which is impressive for a 10.5% beer.
i am getting a slightly gritty mouthfeel? carbonation is fine.
its a strong beer which i enjoyed, but would i say its very drinkable? not quite. overall its a solid beer and i would get it again for sure.

Photo of rudzud
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 6/2

A - Nice brownish ambery colour with a small 1 finger head that leaves healthy lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Like walking through a pine forest! Just a bombardment of pine and citrus.

T - Malts right up front which leads to that nice bitter pine/citrus that was upfront on the nose. Just a solid balance of malt and hops.

M - Little too sticky for me. Really would like some more carbonation with this one. I know its a strong beer but it feels like it should be lighter on the mouth.

D - Just plays off of the mouthfeel. I want to drink this but I'm not digging the mouthfeel. Taste is nice, smell is great, just isnt doing it for me. Of course, did try to put back the full bottle in one sitting. Maybe the label is right...

Photo of Schmaltzy
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice dark amber with 1 finger head that left lacing in every corner of my glass.

S- Wow, loads of pine/slightly citrus hops with tons of caramel malt on the finish, really great smell.

T- Huge amounts of sticky caramel malt, tastes like some caramel chews, followed by huge amounts of bitter piney hops as it warms it produces a slightly piney/citrusy bitterness and a very warm finish.

M- HEAVY... Very syrupy beer that is rather cloying with how thick it is. I like balanced beers but I think that this is too sweet for me, the hops are there but the caramel taste just hangs around.

D- Hard to drink this beer, at almost 11% it is rather apparent in the heat of this beer and too viscous, drop this beer down due to those facts.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into pint glass. 2009 batch.

A- Pours deep copper color. Small head that leaves solid lacing on glass.

S- Very nice sweet malt smell. Molasses aroma with hints of fruits, maybe apple.

T- Like the nose, sweet molasses upfront followed quickly by some bitterness. Hops give it the perfect balance to the malts. Bitterness stays with you however nothing overpowering. Great flavors to it, citrus hops with some apple taste.

M- Medium-full body. Not much carbonation. Smooth drink, with some warming to it.

D- I very much enjoy Arrogant Bastard, and I really enjoy this drink. The alcohol isn't masked as much, however the flavors make up for it. Great beer for a colder night... to bad it's still 90 degrees outside!

Photo of DeutschesBier
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love a fresh Double Bastard, although it seems more and more difficult to ensure my local stores actually have fresh ones.

Anyway, the beer pours a nice dark caramel-like color, and the lacing is excellent. It leaves rings down the glass letting me know where I paused after each sip.

The taste is an excellent blend of hops, caramel-like maltiness, and bitterness. I love the balance in this beer. It is definitely a sticky, heavy, sipper, but it is drinkable for what it is.

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

Poured from a bomber bottle from the 2009 release.

Nice copper/almost opaque orange in color. Not much lacing and a with the glass I have...minimal head retention.

Lots of piney hops almost like you just got donw cutting down a tree! Tons of caramel malt on the nose as well.

Wow....what a taste both first and last! WOW!!!
It is sweet no doubt, but I do like it. Nice carbonation, but not overdone. Full malt profile that sticks with you as well as the sticky sweetness as well! For all the hopiness, I am not getting tons of citrus, but they may show up as this warms.

Great mouthfeel. Not cloying from the sweetness, but it does coat the mouth with the taste lingering for at least a full minute. Nice hop bitterness as the sensation fades!

Very drinkable, but you obviously have to be careful with such a high gravity beer! It is very deceitful just as a Bastard should be!

I can't wait to try the oaked version of this when I can find it!

Photo of Chizoad
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one because I vaguely remembered seeing it in the top 100. I didn't know what style it was at all, and sort of expected single bastard times two. Not what I expected at all.

Reddish brown shock of beer with a tan head that left great lacing. Pretty impressive looking.

Smells of hot malts, banana, and booze, which is what dominates the palate too. Some good bitterness at the end for balance, and even some sour bits. Quite hot alcohol taste which I didn't much care for.

Medium heavy body and good bubbles. Booziness and sourness makes it a little tough to drink much of this guy.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,038 ratings.