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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,166 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,166
Reviews: 2,043
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 422
Gots: 1,046 | 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: 6,166 | Reviews: 2,043 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cavedave
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HEY! Pssst. Yes, Stone Double Bastard! I have given this brew the highest rating.

It pours an incredibly thick ruby amber. I hold it to the light. This beer is alive. Fifty degrees and it breathes in my glass. My nose is no where near the glass, but its aroma has found me since I opened the bottle.

The nose is alcohol wrapped through the finest malts' best preserved fragrances. It infiltrates the senses with a morphing mix of intoxicating aroma. It finds the deepest recesses of the nose and tongue. I can taste it in my eyes.

The first sip. WOW! It jolts a massive blast of malt, the finest malt, you know it right away, its full range of tones, that flavor which changes as it runs into the finish, running through bread, caramel, alcohol, through herbal ecstacy, and crests into a wave of balanced bitterness, a swirl of citrus, herbs, alcohol, earth, an amazing mix.

The alcohol is massive in DB. Usually I rate less well if I get a large alcohol presence, especially in strong ales, I'm an English style old ale lover. But here the craft of the brewer is magnificent, the vapor of it sends the swirling milieu of flavor perfectly into a river of changing delight, climaxing in an incredibly long finish that lingers until the next sip, be that sip ten minutes later. It is an achievement, a masterpiece, I can't give higher praise for this champion, imho, of this style. I hope to taste a better one than this, but I doubt I will.

Photo of bum732
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 release

Pours a hazy orange red, great bubbly head leaving fantastic lacing. Smells of grapefruit hops, other tropical fruits, caramel malt, earthiness . Huge caramel malt up front followed quickly by a shotgun to the face of piney and grapefruity hops. Some tropical fruit sweetness is present along with quite of bit of earthiness. Bitterness is very pronounced, almost acidic. Finishes sweet with a hop twang, alcohol pretty noticeable. Good carbonation, but im sure its faded a little since i aged this.

An enormous beer, this baby will kick your ass. Huge malt profile accompanied by a huge hop profile. I'm amazed by the one-two of all malt then all hop, very unique. Extremely smooth and drinkable, unlike the 120 minute. I would love to try this fresh as i'm sure there would be a great hop aroma that isn't present here. Definitely recommend, definitely a sipper.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a great beer to sip as I pack and get ready for a trip to the dominican republic. This 2008 batch pours out a deep rusty amber color with a slightly off-white head. Lacing is quite impressive as it clings to my Delirium snifter. Slight sediment at the bottom of the bottle. The aroma candy-like with strong notes of caramelized sugars and hop spiciness. A little more subdued than I expected, but pleasant. The taste brings together a sense of IPA meets barleywine in a harmonious blend. The richness of the malts and the sharpness of the hops comes together wonderfully, but not at all unbalanced. Unlike others in this style that lean to heavy towards the hops, this one pulls in multitudes of depth while remaining tethered. The mouthfeel is slightly thinner than I would guess for a beer of this nature and statue. The hoppiness leaves a pleasant dryness to the, otherwise sweet, body. Drinkability is truly lethal on this. At 10.5%, it is tough to realize how strong it is until it is too late. Well done and superbly crafted.

Photo of robbyc1
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy amber, nice highlights, with solid 1 1/2 off white head, great lace all the way down.

Smell has fresh hop nose, spicy, amarillo or similar hops. Nothing special just nice.

A hop bite up front, with a solid backbone of maltiness, and a slight alcohol burn at the finish, strong ale for sure, not quite a barleywine as some have said. I've had the Arrogant Bastard which I think I like just as much as this one. Both are nicely balanced. Maybe I was simply expecting more here. It has a good not great strong ale flavor, much easier drinkability than it should at 10%.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, and the finish is very nicely balanced between spicy dry and sweet. Intriguing. I'm going to say that this stands up to Bells Old Ale, but I'd take Bell's over this.

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

This bottle was transported by car about a week ago and, from the look of it, it hasn't quite settled down yet. There is a murky, reddish-brown hue to it with minute suspended particles that suggest plum puree to me. The head is fleeting but a thin veil remains atop the prune-like nectar. The smell is big hoppy, spirited, caramel, sweet toffee ... very reminiscent of a barleywine. The taste is similarly BIG with layers of caramel, heat in the mouth, sour dark fruit, very long drawn out aftertaste with flashes of bitter, malty liquer, more caramel, more malt. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but, for me, the alcohol remains front and center. The label says, in part, "not to be wasted on the tentative or weak" and it makes me wonder where I fit in ... it's almost too much for me. Barleywines have never been my favourite beerstyle although I respect them and, in this case, the 10 per cent ABV is reasonably well kept in check. But make no mistake, a strong ale like this is never to be taken lightly; I've been sipping my half of the big bottle for well over an hour and while I'm appreciating it more as I go along, I'd be loathe to recommend this to a novice. For the experienced beer lover, this pushes the envelope big time and it's a trip you owe yourself: complex, thrilling, entertaining and not soon to be forgotten.

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

2007 Vintage - sampled 17/03/09

Raw sienna and burnt umber combine (along with a splash of clamato) to make for a very murky yet extraordinarily gradient colour scheme. In fact, the beer fragments into many different tones when held into the light, this outpouring of colour is radiant and bright despite the dismal clarity. Head is minimal but signs of carbonation are quite apparent (and sticky).

Prepare to have your nose barraged by an onslaught of succulently sweet malts and an enormous eruption of bitter, resiny hops. This has as much caramel *and* as much pine serum as is likely possible to find in a beer, not to mention the sheer amount of grapefruit. I'm always impressed by beers that can manage to be both extremely hoppy and malty. I'd probably rupture a 'pleasure gland' if there was such a thing...

This hoppy/malty concoction is deliciously tasty. There is a giant flaring up of dark fruity notes (plum, currants, red grapes, figs) as well as sugary confectioneries (brittle, truffles, sweets and sticky toffee pudding). The suggestion of cinnamon and nutmeg combine with the above to resemble plum pudding. The hops also impart distant but discernible notes of citrus.

Despite all these fireworks of flavour, the beer's composure and alcohol content never rupture. It is smooth, mellowed, and deceitful about its real strength. Some of this may have to do with the bottle's age although not all. The people at Stone definitely deserve credit for disguising such a big, aggressive-minded beer as something so ripe, softened and mellow.

Don't listen to that write up - go home with a bottle whether you feel worthy or not. If you are worthy you'll certainly appreciate it and if you aren't, you soon will be. Double Bastard is at least twice as good as most beers on the shelves. A beer like this really raises one's standards about what they put in their body and how they choose to spend their money.

Photo of Stunner97
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Nice thick white foamy head, with dark brown beer with slight carbonation and bubbles that can be seen on the edge of the glass, relatively clear in body and can be seen through

Smell- Beautiful sweet strong malty nose, lots of caramel and molasses just rip out of this beer, very sweet sugary nose, slight hops, and maybe slight hints of a milk chocolate,

Taste- thick creamy flavor at the jump off, lots of sweet sugar and malts lead off the early taste, similar to nose to lots of sugar, malts, caramel, and even hits of chocolates smash you up front deliciously, on the finish though you get that ever so slight bitter hops that slowly and slightly build up, an amazing beer with very complex flavors that would be interpeted different by people on each taste, good slight bitterness on finish matches sweet start

Mouthfeel- Very very very soft, creamy smooth and definitely heavy bodied, though so soft it has illusion of light, a nice beauty of a mouth feel

Drinkability- Scarily drinkable considering the 10.5 percent alcohol, its so soft smooth and delicious you want more and more with each sip, a classic beer to me, one to savor each sip, I could find a flaw what so ever in this beer to be honest, so well rounded and yet so complex, hard to put into words just how good this beer is, infact i feel me trying to describe it now isnt doing it justice, if you like the regular bastard try the double its like the ultra reserve of whats already a reserve, enjoy! you wont regret it!

Photo of dismal
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark red, brown color. Produces about a two finger head that goes down quick but leaves plenty of lacing down the glass. The aroma is a little hoppy but the hops don't jump out, and the smell is also kind of sweet like caramel. The taste is great, very smooth and sweet. It's hoppy but not extremely hoppy which I do like but in this case not extremely hoppy is really good. It has a bit of bitterness to it and overall the taste is great. For such a high alcohol content it's masked very nicely and I could easily and would love to drink a couple of these.

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a murky brown body that had a two-finger offwhite head taht died slowly and left lace down the glass. The smell is strong and simply put, it is a mix of sweet malts and floral hops that I will dwelve into in the taste. Smooth and creamy is my first impression of this almost full-bodied beer. There are malt notes in the taste like caramel, roasted and maybe even some toasted/burny malts (could be coffee) that mix with a strong dose of citric and floral hops (this is the Stone brewery afterall). It leads to a drying, somewhat tastebud killing, sweet and nutty taste mixed with fruits and the ABV makes itself appreciated on the backend as there is a minor warming, alkie burn as you finish this. Bottom line, this beer encompasses both extreme sweet and roasted malts and bitter hop sensations for a complex beer that at 10.5% ABV gave me a buzz after one bomber (and is dangerous b/c I killed the bomber quick it was so good).

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

Pours a copper amber color with an off-white head that sticks around for awhile. Smells very sweet, getting lots of caramel malts in this one very little hop presence in this one. Taste very similar to smell. Very malty and sweet, and caramel. There is a more noticeable hop presence on the finish of this one. I'm surprised at the lack of hoppiness in this brew from Stones. Good carbonation, but the sweetness of this one is a little much.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

new 2008 batch, poured into tulip

some yeast particles this time. some slightly better lacing.

additional hints of maple syrup in the aroma.

not as overpoweringly hoppy as before, perhaps not as boozy either, but still not as "nuanced" as the regular bastard.

i suppose taste can be moved from 3.5 to 4.0, but it's still hard to give this a higher drinkability score.

OLD REVIEW Oct 10, 2008

brought back a bottle with me to beijing

22oz bomber, no date. poured into tulip.

very dark, brownish amber with copper hue. translucent with faint haze. nice head, fades to wispy layer and foamy ring. some thin, spotty lacing - much less than expected.

deep malty aroma, almost maltose and candy-like, dark caramel. piney hops meld with candy-like malts. hint of citrus (grapefruit zest)

hops definitely make their note more on the palate - SMACK! piney, resiny and boldly bitter upfront. linger a bit however. also, gets kind of phenolic and in the way of the also boldly caramel malts. whiffs of whisky and brandy. resinous aftertaste. alcohol is noticeable and on the boozy side.

quite smooth and substantial. some tannic astringency.

meh... the regular bastard is much more balanced and nuanced.

Photo of CrossansWright
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer will make you rethink your life. I read the back of the bottle while watching television and felt like I was committing some sort of heresy against the Brewing Gods. Those Stone guys are so arrogant that one might feel completely undeserving of even a sip of their beer. Their commitment to making quality beer and letting the customer know about it combined with the sexiest bottle out there makes this a good experience before you even open the bottle. Now, on to the beer. It pours a nice copper color with an off-white head that didn't hang around too long and didn't leave much lacing; coulda been the lighting, but I thought it was a bit hazy also. Smells of alcohol and citrus, kinda sweet in a liquor sort of way. Extremely full mouthfeel, each sip felt like more than it actually was. Taste is of strong alcohol and hop bitterness with a peppery bite at the back of the throat. The malt takes over towards the end. I know this is lacking in description, but its a very delicious beer.

Photo of SykDoc
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It appears a deep reddish-brown/amber that is clear. A tan head forms to about 1/4 inch and reduces to a full coverage lacing. No sediment and the carbonation is visible.

The smell was a bit disappointing. I just didn't get much and actually asked my wife to give it a smell too, which she agreed. There is a fair level of piney hops and malt behind it.

The taste was quite different from the aroma. It is powerful with a nice level of hops up front with pine and citrus and a spicy component in the middle. There is a good malt backbone with some sweetness that is also present quickly at the initial taste. The alcohol is definitely noticeable.

The mouthfeel is very good also. This a medium/full bodied. There is a great level of carbonation that highlights the flavor. It doesn't feel too sticky and goes down quite smooth.

Overall, I really liked this beer. The smell could have been more potent to me. Everything else was very good. It could have had a bit more malt to the taste and drinkability is only hindered by the strength of alcohol and taste. My mouth is going numb.

Photo of jsapunor
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful amber color with a nice head. The smell leads you to believe you are in for a hop assault.

First tase is a wonderful surprise: I was afraid I was getting a hop hammer but this beer is extremely well balanced and smooth It goes down way too easily for the 10.5%ABV.

Excellent effort from Stone!

Photo of Packforever1976
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp in my oversized snifter.
2008 series

A: Pours a hazy deep amber, with a nice and creamy light tan head, about 2 fingers. Decent retention, which recedes to a nice creamy layer over the top. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet malt aroma in the initial smell, followed closely by a nice hop bitterness. Not all bitter, kind of fruity as well.

T: Holy crap, what a smack in the mouth! Sweet maltiness up front leads to a fruity hop bitterness. It all blends together in the back nicely and ends with an alcohol burn. Nothing overpowering, but noticeable. Aftertaste reveals a hint of banana, which is pretty nice.

M: A nice thickness, coats the mouth nicely. Carbonation level is appropriate. For such a beast, mouthfeel is pretty nice.

D: Pretty damn drinkable considering the size of this monster. One will be more than plenty, and very tasty.

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

I picked up a bomber of this and was extremely giddy about being able to try it, the little school girl I am. So she pours a lot like AB but the head doesn't stay around quite so long, this is alright, I blame it on the booze.
The smell is hops in the front, malt in the back, not quite so much as the original...what I want to know is, where is the alcohol?
The taste is good, extremely balanced, almost too balanced to be called Double Bastard. The original smacks you in the face, this one holds your hand and tells you that you're pretty. I guess I like the abuse a little better.
The mouthfeel is perfect, excellent carbonation, a rounded bitterness and just enough body. All of these factors combine to completely hide the alcohol. Extremely well done. This beer is as drinkable as they come, so be careful. Another worldclass offering by the lovely people at Stone.

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

Reviewed on 1/21/09

Double Bastard was dark caramel in color and I caught the aroma of it even before I put my nose up to it. Beautiful! It presented a malty mocha-ness taste with a thick tingly mouthfeel (due to overcarbonation?). This is a fine brew and would definitely drink again. Almost seems like a special occasion type of beer.

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

Appearance- Hazy, deep red-amber with tan creamy head filled with bubbles of various sizes, excellent lacing

Smell- Bitter-to-citrusy hops, bready malt, and a hint of yeast

Taste- Excellent balance of hops and malt, strong bitterness of hops, orange rind, sweet and bready malt to balance with a nice hoppy finish

Mouthfeel- Medium body, good carbonation

Drinkability- Such a wonderfully balanced ale makes me wish I had another bottle. If it weren't for the high ABV, I think this would make a nice session beer.

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

2008 series.

Poured from a bomber with a "defecation of the mouth" verbose sermon on the back, like H.S, Thompson when stupidly polluted, funny though.

Pours a dark amber with a small cloud and nice two finger rocky head sticks to the glass before I even take a sip.

Smells of sweet, sweet grain. Caramel malt and sweet date, plum, raisin. Hops are fruity and very present and add to the wonderful sweet aroma. Slightly metallic aroma is a little off putting, but I really don't know what to make of it, its strange like a handful of bloody pennies.

Flavor is intense alcoholic malt. Malt is sweet and substantial. Hops are bitter and almost astringent, strong as hell, I don't know if I would like this one fresh if this has layed down for a year. Hops are piney, peppery and resinous with an intense hit of oil. The alcohol is very present on this beer, it has a very warm hit to it. Wow, the alcohol flavors almost overpower everything else.

Mouthfeel is thick, lush and viscous. Carbonation is perfect.

Wow, this is a huge beer. Something that would do well to lay down maybe a little longer.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/19/2008 (bottle from AJ's Glendale, AZ-2007 release):

Pours a reddish brown color body, clearish. Big tan head, lasting. Sweet caramel aroma, not as hoppy as the original. Somewhat grapey, effervescent. Caramel taste, not as hoppy. Sweet & malty. Caustic taste, some hops. Dry.

Photo of julian
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a deep, dark amber color with a nice layer of nutty tan head.

Smell: Big floral hops up front, slight malt backbone and an alcoholic presence that isn't surprising for a 10.5% ABV beer.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Big hop explosion in your mouth, floral, slightly fruity, alcohol is surprisingly well hidden but there's no denying this is definitely a BIG beer. nice throat and stomach warming all the way down. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Given the high ABV, drinkability will be limited but damn is this good. Great drinkability overall.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Dogfish Head Shaped Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a medium to dark golden brown color. Three-finger head of light tan foam. Great retention and sticky, clumpy lacing.

Not a whole lot in the smell department. Light hints of sweet malts and some floral and citrus hops notes. Light caramel presence, but mostly hops.

Hey, what do you know? A beer from Stone that's actually getting close to being balanced. The hops still dominate, as usual, but it's closer.
This has an underlying sweet malty profile that, for once, is actually putting up a good effort to get noticed.
Mild caramel and sweet malt taste. Pine and grapefruit notes. Slight bitterness.
Not nearly as harsh as Arrogant Bastard.

Smooth and basically creamy. Just a slight touch of sharpness. Nice lower medium level of carbonation.

I have to say that, being from Stone (who I actually like, despite how it may sound), this is a pretty darn drinkable beer. I find most of their brews to be way out of balance, but this one goes down pretty smooth.
At this point in time, this would be my 'go-to' beer from Stone.

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

2008 Release

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Poured thick out of the glass bottle, color of deep burgundy with some caramel colored head that dissipated somewhat quickly. Some lacing can be noticed, served garaged temped (ice cold). Smells of sweet maltiness, sugary nutty tones, and a liberal dose of hops in toe. Intense malt at the beginning followed by a major blast of those killer hops to finish, its BIG. Thick as oil, sticky and a nice lacing on the palate which is favorable to say the least. Great sipper, a stellar winter warmer with no question. ABV is noticeable, but not distracting. Recommended the those who enjoy the big ones... arrogance is bliss.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this many times but this is my first time reviewing.

Pours a cloudy amber color. A very nice light tan head formed at the top and a thin amount stayed the whole time. Some lacing down the glass.

Smell is not entirely string but hops dominate the aroma. Some sweet caramel malt comes through.

Taste us great. I love this beer. I is like a toffee, caramel IPA. First some bitterness hits the back of the tongue and then you taste the sweet caramel and toffee. It finishes with a lingerng bitterness and a slightly dry feeling. Very awesome.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Don't have much to say on this one.

Overall an awesome brew that can be drank all night and often. Everyone should try this brew.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a great beer by Stone. I ended up having this one with some great Mexican food. I also let a miller lite drinker have a taste - that look was priceless.

Poured into a Duvel glass from a 22 oz bomber at around 45 degrees. The color is a slightly hazy burnt amber color. The head is off white with large bubbles. This looks like an ale from any old English movie (I don't know why I mention this except that it's the first thing that came to mind).

The smell is so full and complex. It's amazing to have such a huge aroma. I can usually tell when a beer is going to have that oily hop character and I thought I was picking that up. It's like a resiny hop floral that is very heavy in the nose. There is also plenty of malt backbone.

The first taste is like a punch in the mouth. This beer is huge and extremely complex. The oily, hoppy flavor is very rich. If this weren't so tart and bitter (in a good way) it could alost be decatant enough for dessert (I had to have a Ten Fidy for dessert by the way).

The mouthfeel is velvety. I would say that the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel all closely resemble Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner. I wonder if I'm the only one to think this. I love it!

Drinkability is a tough one to grade. On one hand I ended up drinking this bomber by myself and I loved it. I could and would drink another if I had it. On the other hand it is ten and a half percent and a huge beer with tons of flavor. Do you really need two or more...absolutely not. Respect beer and keep it at one bomber.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,166 ratings.