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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,114
Reviews: 2,036
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 411
Gots: 1,001 | FT: 32
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: 6,114 | Reviews: 2,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of perrymarcus
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at sunset grill and tap, allston, ma. (review from notes.)

pours a deep amber tone with a good degree of clarity to it. fluffy beige head displays strong retention and nice walls of lacing.

nice bold nose with strong caramel malt notes along with some citric hoppiness making itself known. very nice aroma.

flavor follows the smell; caramel malts lead the way out front, with the hops characters opening up more mid-palate and transitioning into a bitter, slightly boozy finish. an intense, robust beer through and through. also quite tasty. not for rookies.

full, creamy mouthfeel with average carbonation. drinkability is so-so just do to the big and taxing nature of this beer. one per sitting is enough.

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.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

After watching CAL's football season implode in an unfortunate 16-13 loss to U-Dub, this pur-tick-uh-ler ale seems right lucky to be around my fridge...

Pours a gorgeous red-amber, emphasis on the red. Lightly carbonated. Poured oily and thick so I suspect it's sweet and high in alcohol. Yup, 11% ABV per the bottle. About a finger of tan head crowns this brew, and it dwindles away into the night, slowly but surely, until only the lace accompanies the glass. Huge, sweet robust aromas: Pecan pie, brown sugar, pineapple, all backed by a heavy, crisp hop component. Pretty good thus far. As expected, flavor is enormous: Tons of hops carries from initial burst of flavor all the way through to the long, bitter end. This beer is like old school XXX movies: it's wasn't just thrown together by a couple guys with $10,000, a few jars of vaseline and some high school chicks. It has been crafted to be as good as it can, but it's still completely hardcore and not for everyone. If I had to put a name to it, it'd be like Randy West...look him up, young 'uns...The intro is big, but not nearly as big as some others...However, it's the middle that counts: it's devastating. Almost too much going on at once. It pounds you "with an almost seizure-like intensity" (thank you Scott & J.R.), and you think it's too much to handle. It's hops, malt, burned brown sugar, hops, more hops, then some more burned sugar, finished with some hops and malt. This shoots into the finish, which is at once both hoppy and REALLY hoppy. Not easy drinking, and not cheap at $6.49/bomber. You'd have to be as godlike as Mr. West himself to handle sessions of this evil brew.

What I like most: The massive flavor explosion in your mouth.

What I like least: The price and lack of nuance.

Verdict: It's in your face, XXX rated hops and malt that isn't cheap or easy drinking...therfore it's a MUST FIND!!!

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

2004 Vintage Double Bastard

Had this out of a snifter at Holiday Wine Cellar's special event for San Diego Beer Week 2010: "Stone Vintage Archives & Decadent Chocolate Pairings" hosted by Dr. Bill Sysack of Stone Brewing. He presented this one as the evening's amuse bouche.

A: Pours a brownish/amber hue with a thin head and solid lacing from start to finish.

S: Sweet and malty, carmel/toffee, some bitter hop and slight booze in the mix as well.

T: Toasted chocolate malt, sweet fruit - plums and figs with just a hint of bitter hop. Earthy and woody with that toffee/carmel flavor from the nose coming through at the end.

M: Medium-bodied, very sticky and smooth with mellow carbonation that lends to the overall body nicely.

D: Extremely easy drinker - the time in the cellar really mellowed this one out to the point that it drinks like a fine wine and less like the younger Bastard's.

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

2010 vintage

Pours a very dark ruby with a finger an a half of tan head.  The nose is as expected, dark fruits, sweet malts, some hops, reminds me of an American Barleywine.  Tastes a lot like the nose, malty, dark fruits, dates with a bitter finish.  You can taste the alcohol for sure but it's not too overpowering IMO.  Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, sticky on the lips and drinkability is medium.  Obviously this beer is designed to cellar but I wanted to try it really fresh, an it's pretty potent but also very good.

Photo of codewarrior
2.78/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber poured into a Snifter. 2010 vintage.

Directions on the bottle indicate to age at cellar temperature (55 degrees) or colder. Perhaps I would enjoy it more with some years on it. Have another one in the cellar, we'll see if it's any better in a bit.

L: Reddish brown and clear. 2-fingers too-thick head. Given the price, and the look, this seems filtered, probably not conditioned.

S: Lots and lots of hops with a touch of sweet malt behind. Pretty thin smelling. Way too hoppy for a beer to be aged. Perhaps that's what happens when you age this, the hops disappear and the beer begins to make sense.

T: Extremely bitter, far too much so. Beer is shallow as a result, and finish is unbearably hoppy. This beer is at least 100 IBU fresh, with no thought to balance or flavor.

F: Thin. I'm not understanding this beer, really.

D: Maybe in 5 years it will make sense? Chess, not checkers. I'll revisit this a few times over the next years and see if it makes a difference.

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

I feel it would be ungrateful to spare my sincere if uninformed homage to this life-altering drink.

The scent is unspeakable, the taste bitter up front followed by a complex body I won't try to describe. The 2010 release is 11.2% ABV, increased from last year. Feels like the mating dance of two squirrels made of hops on my pallet. Drinking from a small 6 oz. flared glass, anything larger would be excessive. It will be a while before I finish.

This beer is an event in itself.

Photo of sitarist
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 batch.

Pours a clear amber...one finger of loose white head falls to a thin ring that leaves a few spots of lacing.

Aromas of floral hops with hints of citrus, and pine....caramelized nuts, raisins, and rubbing alcohol are present as well. Its not bad...just needs refined a little, maybe some cellar time.

Hop syrup in a rubbing alcohol base...I taste pine cones, Dr. Pepper(yuck!), soy sauce, tree bark, raisins, and caramelized nuts...oh yeah rubbing alcohol.

The mouthfeel is pleasant...full bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. There is a peppery bite, but not much heat from the alcohol.

A sipper for sure. It reminds of of boilermakers or even flaming Dr. Peppers.

I love Stone, but God I hate Dr. Pepper!

Photo of vkv822
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber with orange highlights and a toffee colored head.

The aroma is of strong citric and grapefruit hop notes upfront. There are very light toffee and biscuit malt notes in the back.

The flavor is more in your face, juicy grapefruit and pine notes. The toffee and biscuit that were present in the nose really come forward in the finish of the taste. I really enjoy these notes coming through a bit more. Make no mistake though, while the malts are more present in the finish of the taste, they in no way take away from the strong hop notes. There is a very faint booziness, but I really wouldn't have guessed this to have such a high ABV.

The mouthfeel is a bit more thick and full bodied then I would like, though the active carbonation helps to make it a bit more enjoyable.

While this is quite enjoyable, the slightly thicker mouthfeel and high ABV make this one more of a sipper.

Photo of surlytheduff
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from Duvel tulip. Beer poured a deep amber/light mahogany with a finger and a half of light mocha colored head with very little lacing. First smell up my nose was juicy grapefruit citrus and pine, followed by bready maltiness. Some light caramel/toffee aroma also.

Beer was full and very rich tasting. There was a slight fruitiness to it; tasted almost like a sweet and bitter barleywine. There was a warm alcohol flavor to it, and it finished with a crisp bitterness.

Mouthfeel was thick and full bodied, and was well carbonated. It is fairly drinkable, but this beverage demands to be enjoyed slowly.

Photo of pmoore311
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I may not be worthy, but certainly excited to try.

Appearance, beautiful almost copperish-red color, lacing and a white head.

Smell, wow this must have like a million IBU's, strong citrus, sweet ripe fruits, and alcohol.

Taste, definately a toungue bruiser, but awesome. The IBUS hit you right in the face, yes I think a million is about right, a bit of burn at the end continues to makes you bow to the sheer power of the DB.

Mouthfeel, a bit stick, but I drank very fresh, definately medium bodied.

Drinkabilty, I bow to the man whom can session this one. I look forward to this improving in this category with age.

I am not worthy, but I certainly enjoy trying!

Photo of IPAescotch
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't get to see the beer. Drank from a goblet but we were outside watching stars. Needless to say the beer looked dark but...
Very little lacing.

Smells fruity and nutty

Hop bitterness, oddly sweet

Very thick. Almost frothy or fizzy

Highly drinkable. Absolutely delicous. may have to buy this again

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/ruby red. Large creamy 3 inch head, nice lacing.

Smell - Hops, malts, spices, alcohol, some citrus fruity smells and some yeast

Taste - Strong. Real strong. Hops are heavy, malts are real heavy, beer is intense. The alcohol is present in each sip, has a rye feel much like regular bastard. I get a dark carmal flavor also.

Mouhfeel - Crushes palette with bitter hops and malts. Tounge warms up from the alcohol. The aftertaste would last longer if mouth wasnt numbed first.

Drinkabilty - Its so intense and strong, this 22oz is more then enough. i could enjoy this weekly though. You have to sip it, therefor, drinkabilty is dropped down some. All three bastards are great, and offer something differnt. This for sure, is the big brother.

Photo of CenCalMario
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a beer! You don't have to be a double bastard to try this beer, but you do have to be a double hop and malt head. This beer had me at "smell" hello... what great head retention and aroma! Super powerful @ 11%, but after two drinks it flows like Niagra Falls. There are so many flavors, smells, aromas going on that it is a circus of sensations. Can't believe I waited so long to try it... I'm hooked!

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

Appearance: dark mahogany, finger and a half of head.

Smell: as I first pour it cold from the bottle, I detect the rich caramel flavor that I have come to associate with Double Bastard's syrupy predecessors.

Taste: Rich caramel from the malt hits first, with wholegrain tasting malts showing through in the finish. These flavors are complimented by a solid alcohol presence and a finishing appearance of hops to round out the footprint for a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and thick with too much carbonation added to balance it out. It warms the mouth, and the beer reveals layers of flavor with each sip.

Drinkability: This beer packs a lot of things into a bottle, and does each of them well. All the disparate elements, the nutty and caramel maltiness, accompanied by a hops cameo that appears in the latter parts of the swig, are tied together ingeniously. I have come to expect the world from all releases of Double Bastard, and I have yet to be disappointed. As of this review, I have enjoyed the '03, '09, and 2010.

Photo of hopheadjuice
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, 2010 vintage.

Pours a murky reddish brown with a 1 finger beige head that sticks to the glass.

Aromas of grapefruit and pine like hops and a heavy dose of bready malts. Alcohol is also somewhat present in the aroma.

Taste is strong with bitter hops and a ridiculous amount of malts to back them up. Nice warming heat from the alcohol.

Thick creamy mouthfeel with thin carbonation and a uber dry finish.

Drinkability is a bit low in this with the alcohol being present and the ridiculous bitterness from the hops. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Photo of cutout
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Average to small head light brown excellant lacing after each swallow

S-Bready malts,grapefruit hops,with a hint of pine

T- Full bodied taste with a creamy to almost sticky texture,average carbonation and a delightful bitter finish.

M- Is heavy but heavenly the piney and bready flavors linger long after you swallow.

D- This is not for the faint of heart,I can not wait see to how the ones I am cellaring will be next year.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahogany with ruby highlights, and a thin tan head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is all grapefruit and piney hops upfront, along with some orange marmalade, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla, oak and some alcohol...really fresh and inviting aroma. The flavor is similar with a big citrusy and piney hop punch initially, along with caramel, toffee, toasted bread, some vanilla and oak, dark fruits, orange marmalade and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich, and drinkability is very good considering the ABV. This is a particularly tasty iteration of Double Bastard, easily my favorite of the last few years with an amazing aroma and better drinkability.

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

Let me preface this review with saying I've been waiting a while for the perfect time to review this brew. I'll be reviewing the '09 Vintage (1 year of age presently), and throwing in comparisons of what I remember when it was fresh, and comparisons from drinking the '10 one night ago.

A: Poured into my pint glass, this ASA pours a murky caramel orange with a one inch thick head that has an orange tone to it. Considering that regular Bastard has one of the best looking pours in the beer world, Double Bastard misses the mark just a bit.

S: With one year of age, this brew is still loaded with the piny sticky hops that it was brewed with. Booze and rustic oxidation begin to poke through more. The caramel malt background chimes in, but not as heavy as a fresh 2010.

T: Just like I've heard, this brew is excellent with one year of age. Fresh, DB09 was LOADED with hops....I mean extreme. It was more bitter then some DIPA. Now the hops are still very much present, but mix perfectly with the caramel malt and notes of toffee and brown sugar. 2010 drinks more like a barleywine, and has half of the hops that DB09 had fresh. Actually DB10 was still less hoppy then DB09 aged, which I didn't like. Booze also poke through more on that one (considering the higher ABV).

MF: Mouthfeel is surprisingly refreshing. Sticky hops stick to the back of your pallet. Alcohol leaves a slight burn on the finish.

D: Drinkability is good, and improves with age. Can't wait to see how DB10 ages out.

Overall, I prefer DB09 to this years release, but I already can't wait until 2011.

Photo of emmasdad
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage on tap last night at Fresh Craft in Downtown Denver. Poured a rich dark amber color, with a substantial amount of medium tan foam on top. Sweet malty aroma, with floral hops, dried fruits, and alcohol. On the palate, relatively full bodied and very sweet, almost cloying, with more floral hops, chocolate and booze. Not bad, needs some time to dry out a bit and come together.

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

This beer poured a red amber color with a two finger high, off-white head. The head dissipated fairly rapidly, and not much lacing was left on the glass. The initial smell of the beer was that of pine, spices, citrus and some dark fruity notes. The initial taste of the beer is pine, spice and dark fruits. This progressed to some burnt malts, possibly caramel. Additionally, there is a taste of the alcohol, which is more apparent after the first several sips. The beer has a full body with light carbonation.

Overall, this is a great beer. However, I'm not sure if I enjoy it more than regular Arrogant Bastard. There is more booze flavoring on the tongue than I would prefer, but I can't complain about the other flavors I'm tasting. I'd probably buy this again if given the opportunity.

Photo of beveragesampler
3.52/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage

appearance is good; a deep amber color. poured from 22oz bomber into a glass. lightly chilled about 55 degrees at pour. light carbination. thin carmel colored head that dissipated very quickly. body looks thick; lightly coated glass upon a swirl.

smell is very nice. sugary carmel, banana, fig, roasted malt, hint of bakers chocolate. 10.5% ABV but i dont get much of any alocohol nose.

taste. much of the smell comes thru in the taste. nice and complex. hops have mellowed after a year in bottle. just a light bitterness on the finish.

mouthfeel is fairly thick. bitter sweet finish that lingers just long enough to enjoy all the flavors. very well ballanced.

drinkability is average. mostly due to the ABV which is most noticeable 12oz into drinking. this beer will give you that warm, fuzzy, flushed red face, my ears are hot... feeling.

overall very enjoyable and well worth the money. i look foward to drinking the 2010 release and aging it too...


Photo of bs870621345
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2010 version

Pours a deep amber color with a half inch of white head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like citrus and pine hops, alcohol, and a small caramel backbone. There are some mixed fruits in there, can't tell exactly what they are.

Taste is slightly bitter, a little caramel, alcohol, and some dark fruits. Seems almost plummy and grapey.

Mouthfeel is good, just as expected.

Drinkability is lowered because of the alcohol taste. Its not overly inviting but nothing bad.

Glad I tried this, but I prefer OAB or AB.

Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2010 bottle. Poured a deep ruby-mahogany into a tulip with a finger of long-lasting light khaki head. Sweet and lightly boozy aroma of toffee and a mix of spice and piney hops.

Moderate carbonation and a heavy, sticky mouthfeel. Huge biscuit and toffee malt backbone with a hint of raisin. Immediate hop kick that progresses from mild spice and pine to a tart citrus on the puckering finish.

The high alcohol only adds a warming note on the finish, but the heaviness of this brew makes it a definite sipper. The hop presence, while not overly bitter, is intense enough to keep the sweetness in check. I stuck a couple bottles in the basement and will be interested to see whether the flavors still balance as the hops mellow.

Photo of claspada
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are a huge boquet of piney hops. Next on the docket is the sweet caramel malt, citrus and lighter bready malts.

The taste is all hops with bitter citrus and pine. Malts asserts itself in the middle with mainly carmels and pale malts. Very dry and slick/sticky finish from the agressively bitter hop finish. Medium to full body with modest carbonation.

Overall this beer is not for the faint of heart, when it's fresh at least. If you are a hop monster and want a big boy check this guy out. If you want more of a balanced barleywine/american strong ale offering, you can still enjoy this I would just cellar for a year or so.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,114 ratings.