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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,168
Reviews: 2,044
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 422
Gots: 1,048 | 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: 6,168 | Reviews: 2,044 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattffrost
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance Dark cloudy copper head is a light brown. Just looking at this bad boy you can tell its a very strong beer just like I like them.

Smells of some citrus and sweet carmel. Maybe a hint of coffee. Very nice.

Wow this stuff packs a punch in the taste department. Start off a little bitter and finishes even more bitter. I get a tangy taste at times as well. This beer will clear your sinuses for sure. Love it. This is a true American Strong ale amped up.

All sort of tingly feelings in the mouth. I really like the liveliness of this beer. Sure it strong but I like that.

A very strong beer that 1pt 6 ounces is plenty for me and I love to drink it.

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

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a finger of head that settles to a layer. Looks like muddy amber ale with a ruby tinge, that leaves a bit of attractive lacing stuck to the sides of my glass.

Aroma is mostly of hops and alcohol. A heavy malt background is evident, with notes of raisin, plum and sherry, but overridden by the immense amounts of pine resin and grapefruit; high alpha American hops.

The flavor is much like the nose, but with a bit of tannins and oakiness. The alcohol and hops are both very strong, and finish out the flavor in an intense blast of deep, earthy, bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Chewy, thick, medium carbonation, with a ridiculously dry and warm, lingering finish.

This is amazing. Every person that likes strong beers needs to have one of these. Stone has created a masterpiece.

Photo of humanawho
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A - nice ruby color and a nice off white, creamy head

S - strong aroma of alcohol, there is some honey smell and some candy smell

T - very malty, caramely, some leathery tastes, and the alcohol really comes through on the finish with some of the bitterness

M - very think and smooth good

D - the strong alcohol component on the finish hurts the drinkablity

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


Finally i managed to chase down a bunch of bottles of this, very hyped, brew. 2007 vintage!

A: Dark red with a yellow/beige lace that looks quite creamy.

S: Malts, Caramel, Dark fruit, Citric notes, Hint of pine, Raisin.

T: Orangepeel, Caramel, Bread, Butterscotch, Spices, Ripe fruit.

M: Quite thick with low carbonation. Lots of hops but the malts help to balance it out a bit.

This tastes like a DIPA mixed with a barleywine or something. Very heavy and complex and so very different from the Arrogant bastard. This is a good brew to sip on during cold nights. Outstanding!

Photo of kzoobrew
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 release, so somewhat fresh. Gotta love a Stone Bomber.

Pours a copper/red color with nice white head. Decent retention but nice sticky lacing.

Very sweet aroma. Sweet malt and pineapple. Citric and piney hops. Slight alcohol in the nose.

The tremendously great balance between then hop bitterness and the malt sweetness in just awesome. Where your regular bastard will just strip your mouth of all taste. The Double Bastard "takes it easy on you" that is until you get to the end onf the bottle. Caramelized sugar maltiness blend with the tongue tingling hop bite perfectly. Sweet up front and bitter in the back. The hop bite sticks with you.

Thick and creamy like what you may expect from a barley wine, I am thinking Old Ruffian. Slight oily hoppy slickness.

Stone brews are truly a paradox. I mean does Stone brew anything drinkable, all hopped to high hell. Yet the torture is somewhat comforting and soothing. While this shouldn't be drinkable, oh is this wonderfully drinkable.

Great brew, recommended. Glad to have had the privilege.

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

A: Pours a deep, dark red, with a massive tan head. Lacing that lasts the entire glass. Beautiful beer

S: Pineapple and tropical fruit. Some hoppy piney aromas and a big sugary malt background

T/M: Nice big sugary/syrupy malt that isn't cloying at all. Tropical flavors are there and, shockingly, the hops aren't overwhelmingly bitter on the finish. This is a smooth drinker. I can't believe its 10%. Nice full creamy body, great balance

D: Seriously wish this wasn't 10% and I could actually have more than a bottle.

Awesome beer. Just teeters on the edge of being over the top but somehow it all sings. I would have thought the hops would be overwhelming in this one. They're definitely present, but overall the beer is very well balanced. At first taste, I thought the sugar would be too much. No again. Pretty big testament that Stone was able to cram all of this in here and not have something throw it off.

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

Very pretty to look at. Cloudy, dark orange/brown hue. Minimal head, and very little, splotchy lacing.

Overwhelming and delicious smell. Even now, as the glass is empty, I can still get a good aroma from the drops left at the bottom. Fruity without being too sweet. Maybe some slight coffee, but definitely in the background.

Taste is where it shines, in my opinion. Not "refreshing," per se, but magnificent and very complex. So much flavor it's absolutely overwhelming. Must be sipped, IMO. Thick in the mouth, but thankfully so, as the taste clings to every part of your mouth, even after you swallow.

While I would have a hard time drinking this quickly, I could definitely imbibe properly past the point of good, gentlemanly behavior with little trouble. The almost 11% abv is impressive, and, let me just say that 3/4 of the way through a bomber, I was doing the head droop, staring at the wall. Awesome.

Photo of gearbike
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of rhinos00
4.87/5  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.

Photo of kinger
4.89/5  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!

Photo of OlieIPA
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.


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:

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.

Photo of PatronWizard
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of unionturf
2.36/5  rDev -44.6%
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.

Photo of glid02
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.32/5  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.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of atsprings
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Photo of Biggness
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of chrisafari
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of everetends
4.52/5  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.

Photo of bbothen
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,168 ratings.