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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,118 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,118
Reviews: 2,036
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 411
Gots: 1,005 | 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: 6,118 | Reviews: 2,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hdofu
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer from stone and as with its sibblings it didn't disappoint. A dark brown ale with a not quite white head. The beer tasted bitter but not quite as bitter as ruination. There was also a sort of sweet finish after all the the hopps cleared off the tongue. The beer smelled sweet but with the hop also quite noticeable. This was quite a big beer at 21 proof so I split the bottle with a friend, I don't know that I'd want to try a bottle alone. The beer was pretty smooth though.

Photo of ghaverfield
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 release. 22oz bomber poured into Stone IRS Snifter

review from notes:

Reddish brown, ruby edges, excellent off white head, about 2inches to start. Dissipates to a healthy film, fine bubbles contribute to outstanding lacing, stubbornly sticking to my glass until the bitter end.

Immense malty sweetness in the nose, reminiscent of a barelywine. Piney, resinous hopiness as well.

Complementary amount of carbonation tickles the palate. The resin, pine, and bitterness of the hops dominates initially. Then the powerful sweetness of the impressive malt backbone starts to impose itself. Esters of ripe dark fruit. Pleasant warming alcohol in the finish.

It's not exactly easy to finish the bomber by yourself, but it sure is fun. This is an amazing brew... big, bold, and just the right amount of bitter.

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

Beer Candy...complex but balanced

Appearance: Dark amber, thick orange head

Smell: Floral; sweet malt

Taste: Initial sweetness; butterscotch overtones and faint smoke on finish

Mouthfeel: Lingering bitter finish; smooth

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the alcohol content; excellent sipping beer

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

I like info on a bottle but Stone got on a soapbox and printed a sermon here...boring. Ghastly thick looking opague caramel color with a huge beige head. The head never really went away, it just sank as i drank. Arrogant retention and lace.

Smells of strong caramel with wet, green grass hop and acidic pineapple, and peach syrup.

Hearty caramel and chocolate with a licorice fade. Lots of fruit, primarily dark fruit, like raisin, prune and fig newtons on steriods versus more fruity fruit i.e. cantaloupe, peach marmalade and hints of strawberry. Hop oil aftertaste with smatterings of booze.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy--like the malt is holding the carbonation captive.

Fairly balanced actually, in an over the top way. The sweet malts, fruits, hops and booze all have their say in ample parts. Good stuff.

Photo of pwrf12
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage on draft at the Brickskeller.

Appearance: A lush, deep ruby red with brown undertones and a inviting off-white head with medium carbonation. So unabashedly opaque it's downright menacing.

Smell: incredibly intense concoction of caramel malty sweetness coupled with waves of dark purple fruit accompanied by subtle undertones of roasted nuts and toasty chocolate. Time has allowed the floral hop aromatics to transform into a more herbal, dank resinous monster of an aroma; mixes masterfully with the aforementioned malt presence. What a freak american barleywine would smell like - and maybe it is after all, especially considering the contributions age has brought to this beer.

Taste: The smell unquestionably informs the taste; this beer is fully realized after taking a deep swig. Waves of deeply complex flavors incessantly assault the palate, yet convey some sort of nuanced restraint, presumably from the aging process. That being said, this beer has aged rather gracefully.

Mouthfeel: luscious creamy-smooth mouthfeel with a noticeably full body - very heavy on the palate, which is certainly a good thing in this case.

Drinkability: no easy answer here, but the drinkability is not bad, and is rather quite pleasing. I don't think know if I would want more than one of these in a single sitting, but its absolutely something to revisit on occasion if the opportunity arises. A stellar offering overall.

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

A hazy and rich deep copper/ruby color with a very creamy beigeish head that seems to have decent staying power. Creamy lacing for days.

Hops, malt, dark fruit. I'm reminded of some West Coast American barleywines here, but with a bit more of adark fruit/raisin profile. Hops are piney. So pine, raisin, and dark wheat bread. The bready aspect is closer to pumpernickel than biscuit.

Oh man, this is one delicious beverage. It's a 2008 batch, and I suspect the hops have tamed a lot, along with the alcohol. It's not hot at all. Alcohol is present but not dominating the brew. Raisin, whiskey, vanilla and pine. A bit of caramel. . Fuck, this is good. I'd like to try a fresh one to compare.

Rich, creamy mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

For what it is, it's fairly drinkable, though it seems to have precipitated a bout of hiccups. I suspect this bomber will take me a couple hours to polish off. Good thing this is my Friday.

Photo of Anthony1
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into two glasses, a tulip and a snifter

pours a dark, deep cheery color with a nice tan head. poured a little two vigerously into the 1st glass, a little to slowly into the 2nd. overall, i'd say it was 2 fingers with decent lace.

smells of hops, caramel, cherries, and caramel.

tastes of hops, malt, and rich caramel. gets even deeper as the beer warms

great beer, dark and deep, better served cool, but not warm and not cold. seems to have that perfect taste 1/2 way through

Photo of MagyarPuska
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Release Bomber. Neat bottle art printed straight onto the bottle, which seems to be typical from Stone.

A: Poured into an oversized pint glass with a decent head forming with giant bubbles. Great lacing on the glass with average head retention for the style. The head is an off-white color. Red/Mahogany body that refuses to let you see through it. Cloudy and delicious looking. A little foam left on top that doesn't look like it plans on going anywhere.

S: Sweet smelling, citrusy is where the sweetness comes from. Pine as well. Usually run across one that is leaning towards pine or citrusy fruit, but this one seems to do a pretty good job of throwing both at you at once. Not grapefruity like many strong ales, but i would say pineapple after much argument with my nose. Some have mentioned the alcohol but the other scents seem to overshadow it to me. The pineapple can really be pinpointed if you sniff the bottle itself. Complex.

T: Well the smell didn't lie, it blends the pine and citrus together, although I can't decide if my assumption that it was pineapple was correct from the taste. Alcohol nips at the tongue and it is delicately hoppy, yet it let's you know that it is an American Strong Ale while being smooth. Nothing wrong with this beer, but I'll keep checking the others for quality....

M: Smooth, the alcohol doesn't detract from the taste by intruding, but let's you know it is present and accounted for while tingling the tongue. Amazing

D: I am set with one bomber of these. I feel content with just having that amount and no more. No more needed, nor desired. Not a bad thing though, as I feel as though my palate has been satisfied.

In conclusion: Being a home brewer I will use this beer as a model and work towards it. If I ever achieve this level of quality I will consider myself an accomplished brewer. Of course then I will try to beat them out.

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

Bomber poured into a pint.

A - Pours a deep red with huge head that quickly settled to 1/8th inch. Good lacing to the end.

S - Hops, malt sweetness, alcohol.

T - Complex. Many flavors I can't pin down. Dark Fruits, citrus and pine from the hops. Bitter linger and alcohol warmth in the finish.

M - Smooth. Nicely carbonated.

D - One was enough.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer many times, but just realized I never reviewed it. Just got done taking the family for a walk around the neighborhood, so I decided to take a little daddy's time out.

22 oz bottle - 2009 vintage.

Pours a gorgeous red with brown undertones. Thick and heavy pour with an equally thick and heavy camel colored head with tightly packed bubbles - leaving an enormous film of thick lacing all around the edges of my traditional pint glass. Head retention is good (sticks around for a good while).

Smell is big and chocked full of a wonderfully bitter and citurs hop bouquet and shovel-full of roasted malts. Moderately complex and intoxicating on the nose. Very nice...

Smell is dictated in the taste. This is a heavy hitter with no thin spots or inconsistencies. Borderline a quality barleywine, in my opinion because the big malts play such a large role. Flavorful and robust. Big, chewy malts mixed with some oats, piney and citrus hops and a spike of warming alcohol at the end to remind you you're not worthy.

I think this is a flagship beer for it's style. It's relatively easy to get, fairly priced and has alot going on with it, consistently... Highly recommended if you want a solid, big beer.

Photo of projectflam86
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a vintage Stone tasting. We tasted a vertical of Double Bastard 06, 07, and 08. I will post my notes from the 08.

A- Pours a dark copper/amber color with a fluffy off-white head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Lots of hops and spice in the nose. A piney earthy scent for the hops (not as much citrus) and tons of malt sweetness. The alcohol is very apparent.

D- Strong initial hoppy bitterness with pine and hop oil tastes. There is a slight citrus taste that wasn't present in the nose...maybe grapefruit or pineapple? The taste moves from bitter to sweet with malt and caramel flavors. Some light yeasty breadiness and LOTS of alcohol present. Hoppy bitterness and alcohol flavor lingers with a long finish.

M- Medium/full bodied with lots of carbonation. Big and bold with a smooth feel. Feels alot like a barley wine.

D- This brew is huge with an explosive taste. Not necessarily a sipper but it would be difficult to get down more than one of these considering how unmasked and untamed the alcohol is.

Photo of stephens101
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A semi-hard pour results in a slight, quickly vanishing tan head. This beer sounds mean as fuck, but only a few dainty spots of lace stick to the glass. Aroma involves huge dark fruits (sour cherries, plums, raspberries) sweet malts, dark chocolate candy filled with caramel and a metallic essence which wafts oddly toward the end. Color is a deep. murky cherry-red with orange hues, all Satanic and fiery. Now we're getting somewhere.

An initial sip reveals more dark chocolates, black licorice, grain, subtle pine and a good bitter hop ending with an almost, but not quite creamy finish. A good hit of alcohol heat strikes right in the middle of it all, redemptively separating the men from the boys, and working well in the mix . Mouth-feel is medium to full bodied.

The only detraction I can think of is that after some warming up the beer becomes a tad unbalanced, favoring the hops over all the other elements. I realize this is a sought-after affect these days, but a very slight diminishing of the hops, and a slight favoring of the sweet and fruity elements might actually lead to a better experience, without taking away from the overall boldness of the brew.

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

"Warning: Double Bastard Ale is not to be wasted on the tentative or weak. Only the worthy are invited, and then only at your own risk."

--Double Bastard Bottle

This will be my 100th review and i was contemplating for a while which beer should be my 100th. I decided on Double Bastard Ale.

2008 Release

Pours a beautiful garnet,blood red color with a few burnt orange highlights. Almost three fingers worth of thick rich and creamy tan head that laces very well.

Aroma is nutty and piney. Alcohol and pineapple.

Taste is unbelievably complex. A ton of things are all going on at once here. Pineapple, chocolate, dark dried fruit, syrup, sugar, strong alcohol and a burnt woodiness. Somewhat smokey and sweet at the same time with a nice bitter finish.

This one is like a smack to the face. The 10.5% abv is noticable but not as much as you would think.
I'm a HUGE fan of Arrogant Bastard, and oaked Bastard and now i can add Double Bastard to the list. I would love to try the oaked version of this beer but have yet to see it anywhere.
Double Bastard is in a class all its own as far as i'm concerned.

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

Popped open a 22 oz bottle of this the other day. Did not see a best by date. Pours a copper/amber color with a small head. Roasted malts and caramel come out of the nose. Taste is all over the place - starts of sticky and malty and finished with a hop sucker punch. Full bodied and well-carbonated. Overall, a great beer.

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

22 oz bomber poured into a Harpoon Winter Warmer snifter

A - Pours cloudy, ruby red color, with two fingers of head. Foam coats and sticks to the side of the glass.

S - candied sweetness, alcohol. Holding a sip in your mouth, you can feel the alcoholic vapors exit your sinuses.

T - Yowza! This one smacks you right in the face. Caramel sweetness at first and then Bam! the hops hit the back of your tounge and assault your taste buds.

M - this is sticky, coating you mouth. C02 bubbles are large and foams in your mouth

D - Hop explosion and high alcohol makes this one to be enjoyed slowly. But it certainly is good.

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

Live review. Poured from a 2008 bomber into my Stone Levitation Ale silver rimmed glass. No observed "best by" date but I do not think that it really matters.

A 3 or 4 inch light brown head over a medium brown opaque body in regular room light that glows a gorgeous ruby red in front of direct light. Nice lacing appears before I even drink it (and of course remained for the rest of the tasting). This look cannot be improved in my opinion.

S Medium malt sweetness, significant hops and alcohol to the nose. Reminds me of a Barleywine really. I detect a nice balance already.

T Medium malt and grains, barley and a muted, in control hop profile (it seems that I smelled more hops than I tasted). This is a huge beer that demands your attention. I really appreciate the malt sweetness that I did not expect. As it warmed (and I became used to the great complexity of the beer) I realized how incredible this beer is.

M Big with ABV, Malt, Barley and hops tastes. It can be a bit biting at times with the tart hops profile.

D I will enjoy this bomber but this is NOT a session beer (not that this is the intention!). There is plenty here to interest the taster to keep drinkability high.

Notes: A beer with an attitude (read the label!) that delivers completely. Bravo!

Photo of TheRowan
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep copper/dark amber in color. Almost no head. Looks like very little carbonation. The small head there is, is ivy in color and is not very active.
S: Sweet deep smells of the earth! Like home made jelly or marmalade. Sweet summer air in the spring woods.
T: Sweet, rich and deep. After initial deep sweet flavors alcohol flavor is present throughout the whole moth and throat. Hints of rich chocolate at the end.
M: A full mouth experience. Coats the mouth like cough syrup but is comforting. There is more carbonation to this beer then looks would tell you, even at the end.
D: Very drinkable but certainly not a refreshing beer. Tasty, throughout and leaves you wanting more.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice dark robust amber-brown color with a finger of creamy tan head that sticks around for a while.

S- Not too strong, I get piney/grassy hops and some malt. Caramel and lightly toasted malt comes out as it warms.

T- This is too cold right now, but as it starts, I'm getting bitter piney hops mainly. As it warms, I get a little sweetness--like a cherry twinge or something. Still piney. Rum-raisin flavor lingers. Alcohol in the background is masked well. This is nice! I remember first trying this when I was a new BA and thinking it was horrible... definitely something that you have to be ready for. Caramel and a slight biscuity sweetness comes out too--actually, big malt flavors come out as it moves along.

M- Not bad, a decent amount of carbonation to keep things moving, pretty creamy and full though too. Syrupy.

D- This is a big beer, definitely a tough one to move through quick. I would only have one of these at a sitting and then reach for something else. Definitely like a rich Barleywine, IMO, I like it a lot. I would compare it to a harsh Old Guardian, honestly.

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

A: Mahogany body with a thick offwhite head. Good lacing.

S: Mixture of pine and caramel malts take center stage. Some citric hop bitterness as well.

T: Nicely balanced as caramel malt and pine bitterness. Again the citric notes ride in here as well and highlight the complexity of the brew. Booze shines through.

M: Medium-full body. Good carbonation. Clean, bitter finish.

D: The 10.5 creeps in by the end and starts to dampen the drinkability of an otherwise good beer. Will have from time to time when I see it.

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

Pours a nice mahogany into my Corsendonk Christmal ale glass. Small 1 finger tan head and some lacing.

Smells of wonderful malt followed by more malt.

Tastes id as it smells all malt with some hop bitterness. Some alcohol warming and It finishes bitter.

Thick full body and syrupy.

Nice sipper that will age well. I am going to celler a few of these. I can,='t wait to tatse this in a few years

Photo of bulletrain76
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. I had the pleasure of trying this during the same session as Arrogant Bastard, and I think the comparison helped me understand there beers much more. DB has a very similar appearance, with maybe a little more honey in the body, and a slightly darker and fluffier head. The aroma is malty and pretty hoppy with lots of candied citrus; richer and more balanced than AB. The flavor is similarly balanced with massive malts, citrus hopps and a little alcohol. The way it all blends into one smooth experience really sets it above. All the flavors work well together, over a thick and slightly syrupy body. Lots of intense flavors, and you definitely can't drink a lot of it, but the balance and smoothness hold it all together beautifully.

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

A: This beer poured a dark red mahogony/copper color with a thick two finger bubble filled head that maintained excellent lacing.
S: Immediately after the pour I was hit with sweet caramel and malt aromas, but the nose quickly evolved into a strong dominating pine scent with hints of citrus. The caramel malt lingered in the background.
T: Excellent. A complex mix of sweet caramel malt and pine hops. A citrus zest bitterness lingered in the aftertaste, while the alcohol was noticeable. Alcohol becomes more prevalent as beer warms throughout tasting.
M: This beer had a creamy full bodied mouthfeel with excellent carbonation and a dry bitter finish.
T: Very refreshing and drinkable considering the high alcohol content.

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

Pours a dark clear red/mohaganey brown, with a thick yellowish white head, nice lacing.

Smells hoppy, citrusy, some fruitiness like cherries or strawberries, nice spices and very floral.

Tastes nice and hoppy upfront with some melon or cherry undertones, some caramel and apple, sort of medicinal, somewhat sweet but balanced perfectly by the hops. The alcohol is well covered.

Nice thick almost syrupy, but somehow very smooth mouthfeel, very very good beer and surprisingly drinkable at 10%!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper with a nice wheat head and a good deal of lacing.

S: Tropical hops and some roasted malts that bring on a good deal of sweetness.

T: Quite sweet with dark sugars and caramel in addition to the tropical and citrus hops. Slightly earthy with some wood notes.

M: Full body with good carbonation and a bready mouthfeel.

D: Pretty drinkable. This is definitely a bastard of a beer. I had this pretty fresh, and I'd like to try aging a bottle of this to see what sort of complexities comeout.

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

Poured a beautiful deep mahogany/red color with a big head and good lacing. Smell was mostly lemon peel and citrus hops. Taste was floral/citrus hops and a strong bitterness that was not overwhelming. Medium bodied, oily, good carbonation levels. It was a little rough on the palette and a bomber is way too much to have at once, but I enjoyed this thoroughly.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,118 ratings.