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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.

6,162 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,162
Reviews: 2,042
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 421
Gots: 1,043 | FT: 34
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: 6,162 | Reviews: 2,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Damian and Lona for sharing this bottle.

2006 vintage

The beer appears a russet brown with subtle crimson highlights. The head is substantial in stature and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of alcohol, malts, and toffee. The hop character of the beer has faded during the aging process, so I am not detecting any of the fruit, hop, pineapple, or citrus flavors I have been told are well associated with Double Bastard Ale. The feel is thick and syrupy, with a strong alcohol presence throughout. I liked this much better than the Stone Old Guardian 2007 we had alongside this. This is a great beer to share a few ways and sip slowly on a cold night.

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

22oz bottle, 2010 Release.
In a pint glass the beer was a cherry amber color with a small tan head.
Boozy aroma, sweet caramel, citrus, and flowers.
Very, very hoppy. Grapefruit, piney. Caramel.
A very balanced beer. Alcohol not at all intrusive.
Great beer.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass.

2009 release tasted fresh

A-Beautiful deep ruby with filtered clarity and a thick creamy dark eggshell head.

S-Citrus and pineapple hops and sweet caramel malts predominate. Not detecting any alcohol

T-Thick, syrupy sweet candied caramel malts give way to a boozy fruit infused midrange featuring cherry and raisin notes chased by an astringent grapefruit hop finish that dances and buzzes on the tongue. Slightly hot and will benefit from some age, but still a very nice brew right now.

M-Heavy, syrup-like with moderate carbonation.

D-A well done, very enjoyable beer. I have a few more of these and I will put them away for a year or two. I imagine this will be utterly fantastic in a few years.

Re-review of the 2010 version fresh off the shelf. Nothing new to report here. Just as lovely as ever.

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.

Photo of trevorjn06
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper/red color with a large, tight head that recedes slowly. leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma toasty malts, caramel, some woody notes, slight herbal and mint characters and light fruit.

Taste is full bodied and rich but still maintains balance (at least to me, but I love big beers). There is toasty and bready malts, some fruitiness coming through as some plums and dark cherries (these are faint), some fairly dark caramels and lots of hops bitterness and flavor. The finish leaves some caramel and lingering hop flavors with a nice hop bitterness balancing everything out. The hop flavors are very unique in this beer, not much of the typical West Coast citrus and fruit going on, it's more of a woody, minty aroma and flavor which reminds me of a California Common beer. In fact overall this beer makes me think of an imperial California Common ale (see Anchor Steam Beer).

Mouthfeel is full bodied with above average carbonation, it coats the entire mouth with flavors.

Overall this beer is quite delicious, I very much enjoyed drinking it. It is balanced, strong, not cloying and has some unique flavors that keep things interesting.

Photo of velosuds
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not "Only the lonely," as the song goes, but "Only the worthy are invited" according to the label.

Once an arrogant bastard, it is only logical to become twice illegitimate. Gotta be me. Sorry, Mom and Dad. Finally saw this today for the first time this season. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Purchased from Capital Market for $7.49. "Liquid Arrogance," two-fold.

A-poured a copper-medium amber with a two-finger, rich creamy head with artsy lacing.

S-Rich, sweet malt aroma with a faint alcohol presence. Very pleasant array of aromas from orchard fruits to toffee sweetness. Nice blend of malts and hops.

T-Like somewhere in time between an ordinary barleywine and an American Strong Ale. It's very good, and close to great. Definite sweet malts reminiscent of dark dried fruits like dates and raisins. A slight alcohol noted in the taste and the bitterness in the finish is very satisfying.

M-Exceedingly smooth for such a big beer at 11.2% ABV.

D-I enjoyed this. It would be much more drinkable if I could get my hands on it other than in November each year. Contemplating hoarding this.

Photo of flannelman808
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 version and this one reads 11.2% abv

A: pours a gorgeous rosy amber color and is very bright. Nice looking light tan head compliments the brew. Good head retention and lacing.

S: The malt certainly drives the aroma though I will say its tough to pull any one driving characteristic out of it. Hints of grain and toffee are there as well as a funky kind of dark chocolate and just the slightest hint of pine. all of these notes are extremely subtle one really has to search for them.

T: Nice... Im loving this actually. More than I remember having last I had it. Subtle smells but not flavor POW... starts off leading with a softly sweet milky caramel and moves to a slowly and increasingly bitter mid palate of resiny goodness. Its good beer, though I will note that its a bit two dimensional. Its got what I would want out of the style but could perhaps use a bit more character from either the hopping or the malt bill.

M: Prickly

D: high for the ABV and you have to throw stone out a bonus point for keeping it under 7 bones a bomber 5bitchs jyeah!

Photo of Kinsman
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 2010 release

Beautiful dark amber with orange highlights. Sticky and foamy ivory colored head, about 3 fingers thick to start and leaves behind a thick and beautiful lace.

Sweet and robust malty aroma, full of caramel and fruity scents. A slightly alcoholic kick before the hop aromas come in. Citrus seems to be the most notable hop aroma.

Sweet, a bit spicy, and full of bitterness. Malty upfront with a warming alcoholic kick. Hops make up the finish with lots of citrusy flavors and a nice bitterness to round it all out.

Mouthfeel is chewy and thick. Overall, Stone has another quality brew here. Lots of great things going on here but it will be interesting to see how this one ages.

Photo of tozz8
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage(11.2% ABV) poured into a Stone pint glass

A-Dark, translucent, brown to ruby color. Finger width off-white head that dissapates after about three minutes. Nice lacing

S-Sweet carmel maltiness balances out the floral hop aroma that one would expect from Stone. Slight alcohol presence after warming a bit.

T-Sweet carmel malts do their best to balance out the piney, citrusy hops. Alcohol comes through strong, but not too boozy overall.

M-Medium to heavy body with enough carbonation lighten it up.

D-Definitely Arrogant. This beer demands to be consumed and appreciated slowly. Pour it cold and observe the change from hop-dominated to malt-dominated as it warms

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass. Note: my bottle says 11.2% ABV.

A - A very dark caramel with a small white head that results in nice lacing.

S - Strong. Strong citrus hops and strong sweet caramel malts. Is that a hint of roast!? Smells much deeper and more complex than the regular Bastard.

T - Starts right out with thick malts which are not nearly as sweet as they smell, very much still present though. Also very robust hop-wise, however it seems more toned down than the regular Bastard, probably due to the higher malt bill. Slightly peppery and medicinal too. There is a weird roastiness that reminds me of barbecue or steak sauce.

M - Fairly heavy in body, but pretty highly carbonated which may make it seem less-so. Likes to linger.

D - Definitely a bastard. I can do a bomber and that's about it. This stuff is so strong in flavor and booze that it's a treat only on occasion.

3-Year Update

This beer has aged beautifully! The aggressive nature of this beer is tamed way down and the alcohol has dialed itself back. The heat is still there, just more subtle. The caramel notes come through prominently as before, but it has started to morph into toffee. Overall, if you can afford to cellar a few, I would recommend it!

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

I really like this beer. 22oz bombers typically available for 2 months. Buy a lot of them, drink and cellar them. Great off the shelf for a hop fan, terrific out of the cellar, the flavors really open up, hops die off and the barley comes through. I always enjoy getting a new batch and comparing it to the last year.

Photo of NODAK
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The aroma of piney hops is what comes to the nose first...further digging shows some biscuit and sweet malts in there as well.

Pours a deep red in the glass....head of about 1/2 inch or so. Dissipates fairly quickly but leaves good lacing.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick, not surprisingly. Immediately, the taste of oily pine resin hoppiness shows up to greet the taste buds....there's a sweet malt undercurrent there as well that takes second place to the bitterness. The hops stay bitter long into the finish and aftertaste with a bit of an astringent quality. The alcohol also is somewhat noticeable on the finish as well, which isn't a huge surprise given the ABV.

This beer is a lot like the original AB, except it's just bigger in every way and it's more slanted towards the hops. The hops are sharper, the mouthfeel is thicker, the malts are bigger (albeit not as much of a difference as the hops), and the booze shows more. So between the two, I would probably find myself drinking the original AB more often than this.

Photo of SDtastentune
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark red amber, no head, no lacing. Kinda bubbly, but not fizzy.

S - Alcoholish, malty, hoppy.

T - Alcohol, whiskey, malts, hops, great aftertaste of refined ale!

M - Hot, definitely carbonated, heavy/large bodied.

D - Drinks great if you can hang with it, definitely a hop head connoisseur type ale with lots of BITE and CRINGE.... I like it. Drinks similar to a barley wine, if I taste tested it blindfold I would call it one. Thumbs way UP, this is one HOT ale!

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

Double Bastard has more of an IPA feel for me. The hoppiness is likely the culprit here. Pours an amber orange color with an off white foam head. Has an nice aroma of caramel, citrus and pine. Great medium body. The maltiness here works perfectly to balance with the bitters. Love it.

Photo of misinformed
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage into a pint glass.

A- Dark reddish/copper color that poured with about 1/4" khaki colored head. The head faded pretty quickly, but the beer left a bit of blobby lacing.

S- Enjoyable strong smell. Pine and a bit of floral hops first followed by sweet malt after it started to warm up. Some citrus and the alcohol came out later as well.

T- Nice big flavor going on here. Faint note of the floral/citrus hops at first followed by a big dose of sweet caramel and malt. I picked up some dark bread (maybe rye?) and faint chocolate notes a couple of times. Finishes piney and hoppy with some lingering sweetness reminiscent of brown sugar. Balance definitely leans towards the sweeter malt side, but the hops don't take a backseat. The bitterness has sort of a sharp bite to it.

M- Warm and dry. Medium bodied with a bit of oiliness to it. Medium carbonation.

D- The alcohol only showed itself now and then flavorwise, but left a warm finish constantly which was nice. This isn't my favorite, but a very well crafted beer nonetheless.

Photo of beersensei305
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is am amber/copper color, with cream head. The smell has a strong alcohol and hop scent. Smooth beer, you can taste the grapefruit and pineapple, alt with the hops, sugar, caramel, and slight chocolate notes. This beer gets better and more comlex as it warms. Great beer, almost perfection.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle into my imperial pint glass.

A: Clear red orange hue. With emphasis on the red. Huge three fingers of cream colored head. Thick coating of lace left behind. Great retention. Nice cap.

S: Huge boquet of piney hops are the first thing to greet me. Past that I pick up tons of sweet caramel malt, blood oranges and sweet tarts. Just a hint of heat from the alcohol. Very barley wine like.

T: Holy bitter citrus and pine! Luckily after a few sips the malt steps its game up. Caramel malt helps tame this one a bit. Still a huge hop bomb with a dry bitter finish.

M: Medium to full body with modest carbonation. Dry as a bone.

D: Overall it's a Stone beer for sure. Not for the faint of heart. I will savor this one slowly as I finish the bomber.

Photo of thagr81us
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte. 2006 Vintage. Served from tap into a tumbler. Poured a deep red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and a slight hop character. The flavor was of sweet malt and a subtle bitter hop note. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carboation. Overall this brew really seemed to mellow out with the aging. Everything was nice and smooth. I really enjoyed this one quite a bit and it has motivated me to age some the next time I can find it in stores.

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

Poured into a tulip from a 22 oz bomber.

A - Pours a gorgeous slight hazy dark amber color with some slight red and caramel hints. There is a nice oily and viscous look to it with a thin head that is light tan and vanishes quickly. The strong hop aroma is present as I pour it.

S - Strong sweet caramel up front that is so inviting and delicious as well as some nice boozy character. Slight earthy and grainy aromas as well. There is some slight grapefruit and pineapple form the hops as well but mostly sweet and warm.

T & M - Starts off with a slight earthy grain and a nice sweet caramel backbone that is then rushed out by some mouth coating citric explosion. That flavor coats the palette quickly and is even getting in my gums. As the beer goes down it is dry and clean and delicious. There is a nice alcoholic warmth that coats the mouth on the back end as well as that distinct dry and bitter hop feel. As the beer warms the caramel goodness really shines through and plays extremely well with the boozy sweetness. In terms of mouthfeel this beer is near perfection, perfectly oily and viscous and full with great complex flavors and a strong presence of both spectrums.

D - Delicious and better than the Single Bastard. ABV is only drawback.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz 2009 vintage into a snifter glass.

A- Pours like liquid mud. Murky dark cloudy cloudy brown with a thin 1 finger off white khaki head that dissipates almost immediately.

S- Strong caramel malts, piny hops, and a strong boozy presence that really isn't to bad for 10 +.

T- Brutal caramel malts that blend well with the strong hop presence still alive in this bottle. Unlike the smell the booze rip the tongue apart along with the hops creating a crazy and strong mouthfeel.

M- Full bodied with moderate to lower carbonation and a crazy bitter finish that destroy's the tongue. In a good way of course.

Overall, i recommend trying the regular bastard first to warm up to this. Especially if your not used to strong ales. Would also love to throw one in the cellar for a good 5 years and try it then. See how this bad boy matures.


Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

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

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

Notes from 10/01/2010:

2009 Vintage. 22 oz bottle served at 42* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This beauty pours an extremely murky, brick-red color with 2 full fingers of foam. It looks like it came from an advertisement.

S: An intense aroma of sweet caramel malts, potent piney hops, vanilla, chocolate, and alcohol esters fills the nose. It smells like a very hoppy barleywine.

T: It is a delicious balancing act between the sweet caramel malts and intense piney and floral hop character. A citrus kick comes in late with alcohol rearing its head as well.

M: The mouthfeel is thick and sticky with a long-living flavor.

D: This is a very good brew but it almost becomes a chore to drink.

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

3 liter pop-top bottle with a lock poured into a tulip, 2008 vintage. Thanks to imagineiii for sharing this!

Pours a nice deep brown and it's slightly hazy. It's got a small light brown head. Nose is sweet and a bit hoppy, very nice.

Taste is malty and a bit boozy but that's to be expected. It's very rich and complex with a fairly solid hop profile. It's got a light and sharp mouthfeel. Very tasty.

Photo of nas5755
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 version

A: a dark copper ale with deep ruby hues when held to the light. nice head with incredible lacing for such a high abv beer.

S: dark fruits, raisins, heavy malts, caramel

T: light herbal hops, caramel flavors, but dominated by the dark fruits and raisins and bitter vegetal hops that have mellowed out.

M: Very smooth, low to medium low carbonation levels.

D: A sipper for sure, not as aggressive and assertive with a year on this beer. I think I like this beer better fresh when the hops attack and the malt follows. I do enjoy the mellowed out version but would really like to see what some serious age does to this beer as I think it could hold up.

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.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,162 ratings.