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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

5,708 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,708
Reviews: 1,977
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 365
Gots: 776 | FT: 26
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: 5,708 | Reviews: 1,977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gearbike
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Way over the top. But all good. Deep almost maroon color from tap. First impression is this is a winter warmer. But after a few more sips it starts to reveal so much more. The alcohol is always present but a cornucopia of flavors is contained in this full body beer. Dark fruits give it some sweetness. Some malt gives it a wet stickiness. I even detected some spicy hops.

gearbike, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of rhinos00
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage - poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A- Hazy amber/copper color. Inch of white, fluffy head that stuck to the sides of the glass as the beer was consumed.

S- Wow! So much was going on here, it's almost hard to describe. It was a combination of citrus fruits, pineapples, burnt malt, and a nice smell of piney hops to cap it off. So similar to many of the west coast IPA's (i.e. Pliny the Elder) that I have had.

T- Even better than the smell! Initially, a nice sweet pineapple, malt taste hits the tongue. Right before it ends, the hops kick in to give it a nice crisp, piney finish for the perfect touch.

M- Medium bodied that almost felt light and crisp at times and then thick and syrupy at others. So versatile, absolutely loved it!

D- This beer went down so smooth, it was unbelievable. I have had stronger beers before, but from the very first sip, I felt the burn in the chest and flushness in the face (not necessarily a bad thing). If I could have more than one, I would have gave it a 5.

Overall, this beer may be the best that I have had so far! I'm not sure if it's because I let it age for a year, but this beer was so complex and brought so many different varieties of flavors. Nice sweet citrus/pineapple malt flavor followed by a crisp, piney hops flavor. Absolutely perfect! I'm seriously debating whether or not to let my other bottle age for another year.

edit: Just opened a bottle of the 2008 Double Bastard and the 2007 is so much better. Let this beer age for at least a year.

rhinos00, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of kinger
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing offering by one of my favorite brewers. The Arrogant Bastard was the brew that really started me off on the journey for great beer, and almost a year later I find myself sipping on the Double during an already great Friday Night. The aroma is original and awesome, if I could create a flavor of incense or an air freshener I would want this. Very aromatic throwing malts, hops, dark fruits, citrus notes, with a powerful alcohol kick bringing up the rear. Nice pour looks like the local fermented apple cider with a pencil thin head and minimal lacing, but hey it's a strong one so you can't be too upset. Take a sip and it bites you strong and fast a very aggressive mouthfeel with a smoooth subtle burn. Flavor is right on and then some, hoppy enough to combat the huge malt content. This is American Barleywine at it's peak. Thank you Stone again and again, thanks!

kinger, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of OlieIPA
3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2006...

A: Brown-reddish hue with little head.

S: Spices along with a sugary sweetness.

T: Very similar to there barely wine (probably because its been aged a few years), but it also possess some sort of earthy and soil like flavor.

M: Good.

D: This is a pretty aggressive beer...not sure if I could have more then a bomber to myself.

Overall: Try it.

OlieIPA, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vertical tasting of vintages 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
The 2003 and 2008 were sampled together, and the 2004 and 2006 were sampled the following evenings.

Vintage 2008 bottled on on 9/12/08.

Pours dark amber with a ruby hue. Clear body with a half inch head of off white. Some light rings of lacework after the short head fell, and a partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with jammy malt, red and tropical fruits, and warming alcohol.
Peaches, apricots and melons lead the way for shadows of red grapes, cherries, and bourbon-spiked honey.
Sweetish and quite juicy.

On the thick side of medium bodied. Sticky and chewy mouthfeel. A bit light on the carbonation.

Sweet crystle malt, ripe fruit, fresh caramel, and a resinous bitterness start the palate. Warming alcohol steps forward as well as hints of caramel-candied apple, spruce dew, and candied figs.

Finishes with a lingering warmth, sustaining bitterness, and drawn-out sweet fruit.

A classic American strong ale that dances along the lines of a Barleywine.
Next up, a mini vertical with an aged example.

Vintage 2003:

Pours cloudy, dark amber, with a half inch head of off white. A slow retreat revealed some spongy lacework and a few whisps on the placid surface.

Aromatics are heavy on the malt, with lots of wet leather, rotting cedar, wet paper, and Sherry. Very earthy and oxidized. Hops are not to be found, and the nose rounds out with hints of cocoa, cardboard, and dried earth.

Medium bodied, but very syrupy and chewy. A slick, tacky mouthfeel with subdued carbonation.

Stale malt, wet and dusty boards, worn leather, and earth-dusted chipped toffee start the palate. Oxidized Sherry steps forward as well as a warming boozy note and tannic caramel.

Finishes with a lingering dried earth note, dusty leather, stale malt, and old wood tinders.

Not a fan of the five year old DB.

Side by side with the 2008 freshie:

Wow, I wouldn't believe that they were the same beer unless I poured it myself. The freshie is cleaner, infinately hoppier all around, and much brighter. The peaches and apricots really shine though when sided with the oldster DB.

Vintage 2004

Pours clear, dark amber with a two inch head of off white. Retention is moderate and theres some decent lacing after the fall.

Aromatics lead off with ripe, red fruits, sweet malt, and alcohol. Significantly more boozy than the 2003 or 2008.
Slightly vineous with hints of bourbon fusels, cherries, figs, and sherry.

On the thick side of medium bodied. Slightly syrupy and plenty slick.

Dark fruits, cherry-infused malt, and bourbon-spiked toffee start the palate. A mild throat burn quickly steps forward as well as a peppery warmth.

Finishes with lingering alcohol, sweet malt, and fading red fruits.

Hardly a trace of oxidation in the 2004, which makes it pretty amazing how quickly this beer goes off the deep end. Looks like four years in the cellar is the max for a Double Bastard.

Vintage 2006

Pours murky dark amber, with a one inch head of off white. A partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration, along with some spotty lacework.

Aromatics lead off with dry, papery malt, caramel, toffee, earthy cedar, and a trace of cocoa. Warming alcohol follows through along with wet cardboard.

On the thick side of medium bodied and chewy. A creamy and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.

Drying malt, caramel dust, and hints of cocoa, nougat, and wet boards start the palate.
Dark fruits, warming alcohol, and an approachable biterness follow through.

Finishes with lingering cardboard-infused malt, stale chocolate, and a drying bitterness.

Concensus:

The 2004 was remarkable and somehow far superior to the 2006. Zero oxidation and was clearer in the glass.
I'd like to think that the perfect amount of time for DB in the cellar is four years if you use the 2004 as a benchmark. The 2006 disproves this though.

Vintages in order of best to worst:
2008
2004
2006
2003

Note: All were stored in the cellar on thier sides for the duration, and the 2006 was very close to the 2003 in last place.

brewandbbq, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. How patient is I? This is my first time drinking this stuff and my attempt at worthiness.

Really nice ruby hued bronze. Nice medium side head of mostly small bubbles. Not quite white.

I simply cannot describe the smell. I possess not the words. I am unworthy. Earthy. I want to claim a hint of some dark fruit. It doesn't smell like "beer," it smells like "ale."

The dark fruit I was trying to smell is definitely in the taste. A nice touch of alcohol too. Hey, some of us like to know we're drinking strong beer. A bitterness there as well. Very good!

Full bodied and strong. This is an ass kicker fo'sho.

Overall: worthy or not, I'm gonna take down every last drop of this puppy

Edit: Opened an '06 yesterday. Awesome!! It was so good that I opened another. Awesome!! After two, I had to have another but I only had one more '06 and an '08 on hand. So I opened the '08. Bad decision. Noticeably inferior. With two years on these, they are marvelous. Now to get a case of '08 and lay it down until 10.

PatronWizard, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of unionturf
2.3/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Having tried AB which is now one of my favorite beers I looked forward to this bottle.

Poured dark amber, clear, with a good head. Smell was strong alcohol some malt and hops. Upon first sip I knew this was not for me at all. Way too thick, syrupy, too much alcohol taste for me to enjoy. Drinkability was way low for me since I didn't finish the bottle and poured the rest down the drain (sorry beer fans...).

A total let down, sometimes enough is enough...this was too much.

unionturf, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of glid02
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

glid02, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A draught-poured goblet of Stone's 2006 Double Bastard Ale sports a hazy reddish-amber body and a thin cap of ecru foam that retreats quickly into a thin collar that leaves thin lacing on the glass.

The smell is mighty and malty with a mellow blast of piney, citrusy hops.

The taste is oily hop-bitter with fruity-sweet malt, dry and toasty malt, and a bit of syrupy semi-sweet caramel sweetening the profile. A whopping dose of bitter piney citrus mops up the sweetness and dries the finish, even as it makes me wonder about the initial Megaton-yield of the hop-bomb this thing must have been at its birth!

The drink is oily, slick, and sticky. Superb feel and good drinkability for style.

cvstrickland, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of hooliganlife
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle. bottle says 2006 release, drank in 2008. pours brown with a bit of amber, little to no head. smells of alcohol and caramel. big flavor right away of malts, alcohol, raisins. basically a double bastard as it says. medium carbonation and although big, smooth. a slow sipper for sure, and a treat. i would love to find a few more.

hooliganlife, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage served at the Stone NC launch party! 10oz pour into a goblet. Served a hazy dark orange with a lasting frothy head. The aroma was pine hops slightly overpowering caramel malts. The taste was a wonderful balance of burnt caramel and pine hops that only got better as it warmed. The beer had very well hidden alcohol, there was some stickiness and warmth, but not what you'd expect for 10%. This is an absolutely wonderful beer, and this tasting shows that it ages very well, too.

atsprings, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of Biggness
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark nearly opaque amber with a 1 fingered head. The smell is of caramel, citrus, malt and alcohol. The taste is loaded with malty goodness, a big caramel flavor with a citrus end. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth there is just a slight dry feeling in my mouth after each swallow. A beast of a beer with malts, I think drinking 2 of these would be an accomplishment, but one of these is beautiful.

Biggness, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a amberish light brown with a nice cream colored head. Great retentiong and some nice spotty lacing.

S- I could pick up quite a bit of alcohol, pine and citrus hops, and caramel malts.

T- Big, bold and in your face. Smacked right in the face with some nice hops, malts and a touch of alcohol. I really enjoyed this one.

M- Full body, good carbonation and a touch of an alcohol burn.

D- A solid brew without a doubt. Even with the higher ABV its easy to drink.

nrbw23, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle
2006 vintage

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

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

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

M- Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

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

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

cjgator3, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of chrisafari
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage. On tap at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens. Pours amber/deep red almost purple. No real head. Sweet and spicy aroma of plums and blood oranges, there is also a nice aroma of sugar. Flavor begins mild and smooth, almost like a rich Cabernet/Merlot. The dominate flavor and aroma is alcohol, it really hits you in the sinuses. Even after a few years, the alcohol is still very intense. Drinkability is low, for me, this beer is better sipped than chugged.

chrisafari, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of everetends
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber thanks to Reino. Poured into a shaped pint. 2007 vintage.

A: Pours a very nice dark caramel color, this sweety is hazy, can't see all the way through it. Got about a finger of head, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in retention. Lacing is a bit thin but always comes back with every pull from the glass. Carbonation bubbles are small and plenty.

S: Dark caramel that is slightly burnt. Malt that is sweet. Cracked pepper, citrus and/or floral hops, and booze. The booze smells more like a bourbon type alcohol rather than just alcohol. Very nice.

T: Nice thick malt up front. The caramel sweetness is nice but not at all overbearing. Slight citrus flavors mingle in this profile. Spices kick in on the back side. Nice amount of flavor and many other rich, dark spices. Alcohol kicks in also on the back side. Not too overpowering.

M: This is a creamy, medium bodied brew. Carbonation is light. Really sticky. Coats palate, tongue and throat. Slight alcohol burn. Mostly spices linger in the aftertaste with some spiciness. Damn nice.

D: So the ABV is high, but this is still highly drinkable. I want more and I want it now. This stacks up very well with AB and OAB. Better than AB, not as good as OAB (but little is).Very good.

everetends, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of bbothen
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel color with a nice 2 finger bubbly head. Lacing that looks like it was glued to the glass.

Smells of piney hops, booze, citrus hops and a big caramel like sweetness. Bastardly indeed.

A strongarm of a boozy punch, crisp hop bitterness, waves of sweet toffee & caramel.

Smooth, creamy, warms as it goes down.

A strong %10 warming sipper. A monster of a beer.

This beer will take you down, get you in the guard, ground & pound you into submission. I tapped after a bottle. I'm not worthy.

bbothen, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Stone tent (woo-hoo!) at the Burlington Brew Fest '08. Poured into my glass a deep rusty brown with a fluffy, tan head. Good retention, good lacing. Smelled of big, bold malt overripe fruit, brandy. Flavors are huge and very muscular. Bitter as F and taut. Sharp hops, caramelized sugar, rich caramel, roasted malts, candied fruits, piney hops helps balance an otherwise chaotic beer. Underneath all the flavors is the alcohol esters, clearly they are not fibbing when they call this an American Strong Ale. But it feels like a Barley Wine. Fearless, complex, challenging and it will get you F-ed up if you underestimate it. Not for the novice, (YOU ARE NOT WORTHY!) but definitely worth a shot, especially off a tap!

thekevlarkid, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Buebie
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a trade from JasonA I'm able to try this.

2007 release

Poured from a bomber into an oversized merlot glass. Thick soapy bubbles in a thick white head.
Good retention with big bubbles.
Redish amber with a hazy semi-transparent nature.

Smell is oh so lovely. Sweet aroma with a carmamel likeness, mild alcahol fumes. Sweet piney hop resin, pear, banana?, and then some.

Taste is dangerously smooth with little alcahol flavor for a 10% beer.
Burnt caramel upfront with a sweet toasted marshmellow likeness. Big piney hop flavor, cracked peppercorn.
Thick and creamy, wonderful carbonation smoothness with a little zing through the middle.

Good beer, a bit sour as it warmed. I can handle bitter, but this was kinda sour. Good beer all around, glad I tried it.

Buebie, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of tendermorsel
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times just getting around to a review.

2007 batch poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a great carmel brown with a thick foamy head. Great lacing on the sides of my tulip glass.

Pretty piney nose. I also smelled dried fruits in the nose.

This beer is a hop and malt monster. Smooth up front with the bitter hops kicking in in the back end.

This is slow sipper but pretty smooth concidering the high ABV. Actually quite drinkable.

Call me crazy but I this beer is much better with a bit of age on it. When I had the same batch fresh it was very harsh and bitter from the extreme level of hops used in this beer. The one I had last night was much smoother and mellow.

Reccomended. Another great beer from Stone.

tendermorsel, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of treyrab
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint:

A: Deep clear copper with white creamy head that laces very well.

S: Smell is of enormous amounts of bready grains, pale malts, minor caramel malts, and alcohol

T: Perhaps the brew was a bit too warm, but the alcohol really showed in this one. Nevertheless, the flavors are immaculate. It has a very dry, almost white wine like finish that is truly remarkable.

Overall, another great brew by Stone

treyrab, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of ectomorph
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Release Bomber

A - Much lighter/less 'ruby' in this one. Deep hazy mahogany in color with a light tan head that (in true Bastard fashion) sheets the pint glass...

S - Bitter citrus grapefruit/pineapple and alcohol. Very pleasant.

T - It is literally Double Bastard. What a great brew. Grapefruit and stiff Uber Hop kick is very balanced and masks the high ABV really well.

M - Great carbonation and body make this one a champ. You could cellar this beer for a while and be glad you did.

D - This will wreck more than your palate my friends! Pace yourself...

ectomorph, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of kbnooshay
2.95/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice dark amber color with barely any head. The aroma is pungently hoppy and alcoholic. There is a doughyness to it with hints of caramel and dark fruit. The flavor is rich and hoppy and bready. The alcohol is quite apparent throughout the drinking. Raisin and other dark fruit flavor is VERY strong.
The feel is flat. Did I get a bad bottle? I was concerned with the no head pour but this is just sad. Syrupy, no carbonation. Tastes like a hopped up cough syrup. I will have to review this as soon as I get a new bottle. Dissapointing.

kbnooshay, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of Lynux
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Whoa! This one's a monster! Nice dark red/copper color with a beige head that leaves some sticky lacing in the glass.

Smell is incredibly complex, sweet caramel, toffee, american hops, and some fruity esters from the yeast (strawberry?)

Taste is very big and sweet followed by a bitter sting from the hops. I'm thinking chinook for the bittering for sure. The malts are HUGE in this beer with a very caramel/toffee like flavor. Heavy mouthfeel due to all the residual sugars leaving a candy like flavor in the mouth.

I had a nice buzz going after one bomber and that'll be it for the night!

Lynux, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Baileyuk
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy Brown color served from a tap from a keg. Dont know if it was cask conditioned but definately had those qualities. Head and lacing was minimal.

S - Surprisingly not as much going on as I would have expected. Definate piney hops and a pleasantly not overpowering alcohol aroma.

T - Again not as overpowering for 10% as I thought. The aromas were pleasant in the taste. The alcohol was more dominant, especially after eating it after fish.

M and D - Way higher than anticipated, mouthfeel was great with light carbonation and a surprisingly drinkable taste.

Baileyuk, Jul 22, 2008
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,708 ratings.