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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.

5,638 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,638
Reviews: 1,978
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 357
Gots: 749 | FT: 25
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: 5,638 | Reviews: 1,978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%

2004 Release.
I've been longing to try this much revered brew and I figured my 200th review would be a great time to do so. A deep caramel red pour that nears opaque with a big fluffy, creamy two finger khaki head sitting nicely atop the brew. A circular ring of lacing appears as the head falls. Pine bough resin and citric hops waft up into my nose alongside a rich, candy sweet caramel toffee nose. Big and inviting.

First sip brings an elegant mix of big, bracing fresh pine tree and citric hop flavors along with a lush, caramelly toffee sweet maltiness. Quite well balanced with a nearly mouth puckering bitterness on the way down. Hints of dark fruits and raisins lurk in the mix as well. A damn good barleywine...10% abv is nowhere to be found in the taste. Wow.

Big, creamy buttery smooth mouthfeel with spot on carbonation. Simply a treat to drink. Each sip leaves me longing for another. This will be one I will look forward to each year. Glad I have another bottle in the cellar. Highly recommended and yet another winner from Stone!

orbitalr0x, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.93/5  rDev -8%

Think Arrogant Bastard or Stone IPA but with even more attitude (and more alcohol). Strong hops presence, strong dark fruit flavor presence, all in relative well balance. Definately aggressive but surprisingly sophisticated. I think this qualifies more like a stronger than strong dark ale as opposed to a barley wine.
Not for everyone but well made. Like Arrogant Bastard, you probably know someone that will fall in love with the creation.

ommegangpbr, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of droomyster
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%

Pour a clear deep brownish red. 2 finger tan head receds after a few minutes, leaving lace high on the glass. Barleywine smell of carmelly malts. Instant blast of bitter hops; I keep waiting for it to go away but it doesn't. Thick rich malts of heavy nutinness and maple syrup. Spruce hops with an underlying orange peel citrus. Creamy and very heavy. An amazing drinking experience. A volatile solution: my friends can smell this thing from five feet away.

droomyster, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of Kookiekwan
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%

This beer pours amber-brown has a one finger head with good retention and some nice lacing. The aroma is of caramel, sweet malt, and alcohol. The taste is malty, smokey, and bitter and it leaves a sweet molasses-like taste with the finish. This beer is a little harsh as it warms the mouth and throat on the way down but it's also what makes it memorable.

Reflection: I really like this company, they pull no punches with their beers and their able to make some interesting ones like this.

Kookiekwan, Mar 20, 2005
Photo of Buildscharacter
3.93/5  rDev -8%

At first glance I thought this beer was going to be darker. It's about the color of maple syrup and looks pretty good. The head was tall at first but has come down. It stays in a nice 1/2 cm frothy top. The beer itself doesn't have much of a smell. As with all of Stone's beers this one has that familiar hop characteristic that reminds me of their Barleywine. There is a syrupy sweet taste with hints of maple, burnt wood, sugar, fruit, apple . There is a distinct sweetness to this beer that makes it very attractive. It's light in your mouth, but still feels heavy to the tounge if that makes any sense. It's not hard to drink, especially if you've had a beer or two before it. Good hop flavor.

Buildscharacter, Mar 18, 2005
Photo of bnuttz
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%

2003. Pours a very dark ruby crimson color, cloudy, with a smallish tan head. Smells of sweet caramel malts, fruits like pineapple, and slight hoppiness. An alcohol presence is also there. This definitely tastes like the big brother of arrogant bastard. Taste is spicy alcohol and sweet, thick, heavy caramel. A piney hop bitterness shows itself toward the end. Very thick in the mouth, the alcohol presence prevents this one from being very drinkable. Not a bad barey wine, but not one of my favorites. I didnt detect the hoppiness that I expected from this beer, but not necessarily a bad thing. Would love to try these stone beers fresh.

bnuttz, Mar 07, 2005
Photo of lou91
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%

'02 in '05. I remember tasting this in '02 and thinking it was way too young and I still have that impression. There is no doubt on the beauty of its dark color and nose of bubblegum, rum and malt. The taste remains a bit too hot with alcohol dominating the beautiful rich body and silky, resiny hops. Warming does not help which may mean a year or two may bring it all into balance. This is an intense experience of barley wine madness in the best and worst sense. I love this style but this needs some time for perfection to arrive.

lou91, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of grapemaster
4.4/5  rDev +3%

When I bought my Double Bastard I did what all good beer drinkers should do....buy one for a friend to enjoy it with. He began to drink his first and when I asked him how it was he replies, "It's like a slap in the face". Not a bad slap in the face, but this damn beer is intense. It poured out deep amber with a thick head. I noticed hints of all sorts of sweetness, from different kinda of fruit to chocolate. However, what I noticed most was the fact that this beer has muscle. The hops seemed slightly stronger than the malts, but both were overshadowed by the pure power of the alcohol. Overall a good beer, but like the bottle says, you may not be worthy.

grapemaster, Feb 23, 2005
Photo of IrishMike
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

So what i have sitting in front of me tonight is the supposed greatest beer of my favorite style. Been waiting awhile to find out where i can get one of these bombers, and i have mntlover to thank for the opprotunity to try it out. An American-Barley wine freak like myself couldn't be more pleased with a chance at this infamous brew; so much so that the entire two days that i was sitting in my room i could hear it calling out my name....

Appearance- Did somebody switch my bottle with Old Horizontal? Pour them right next to each other and i wouldn't be able to tell one apart from another. Dark copper, nice head off white 1" head and a wild lacing that carries huge strings from one side of the glass to the other. Average head retention. Very mild carbonation.

Smell- Yikes, this one SMELLS intimidating! Floral hops and fusel alcohol strike first, completely dissallowing anything else to enter their territory. I spent a good minute taking sniffs and trying to figure out what was hiding underneath them. Rum, grapefruit, and a prickily spiciness to it. Nostrils completely cleared up after spending time smelling this one. Ah, my feel sinuses are nice and clean.

Taste- Thankfully, the taste doesn't make quite as bold a statement as the nose of this bombshell. Hops mix with sweet malts first, both backing away at essentially the same time for pleasent after taste that is smooth and spicy. Caramel soaked grapefruit, or is that grapefruit infused rum?, english cheddar, and a lemon/citric bitterness (possibly somehow related to Lemon Warheads candy) take you through and interesting journey of flavors. Oddly enough, none of these seem to be too strong nor too bitter to take away from it at all. Some raisins and figs perhaps? Caramel? Some alcohol to boot? Sure, why not. There's always more than enough going on here.

Mouthfeel- Just about where i want it to be; full bodied, rich and strong with a pleasant after-taste. Low amount of carbonation, but that seems to be the norm for the style at hand here.

Drinkability- I have basically destroyed this bomber in little over an hour, and despite feeling the alcohol-related effects of it, i can't see myself stopping before the show is completed. Alcohol is always present, but in a weird twist, only seems to add to the complexity to the brew. It's bizzarre balance is what ultimately leads to it's drinkability.

After what was set out as a goal to find which was my favorite A.B.W. (this versus the Bigfoot and the Old Ho) i came to a slightly depressing conclusion that it's a three-way draw. Each offers their own particular take on the style, and all three succeed at the same level. But considering i loved the other two brews, i can't at all be dissapointed that i find this one to be at equal level. Maybe not the most hoppy (Bigfoot), or the most malty (Old Horizontal), but possibly the most complex and balanced. I can see why this one rates as highly as it does. One of those fine brews that lives up to the hype.

IrishMike, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of kegerator
2.73/5  rDev -36.1%

was alittle disppointed in this one.
poured out a dark copper with amber hues and a 1 inch creamy off shite head that left nice lacing.
smell was faint at first but with warmth and a swirl i was able to detect some malt and slight fruitiness.
taste was strange to me. big malt hit then fizzled off quickly and just left bitterness. starnge thing is i did not really smell a lot of hop in the aroma at all. the hop had no real flavor either just left bitterness on the tongue and a burning feeling on the sides of the mouth and in the stomach. alcohol was not really noticeable.
I drank it but contemplated pouring it out. I would not waste any money on this one again.

kegerator, Feb 02, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
4.97/5  rDev +16.4%

Well, I finally caved and opened a bottle of 03 that I've been stashing. It pours a magnificant amber red that glows from within. A brief head of wheat colored foam erupts to a chunky peak before receding into a ring around my tulip glass. Lace is adequate and clumpy.

A gentle swirl releases a bouquet of delight! Caramel infused rum balls and singed creme brulee'. Dark, moist fruit cake with dates, figs, cherries, bananas, and pinapple. An array of floral, citrus, and pine-drenched hops bring up the rear. I was anticipating a more subtle hops aroma. If Stone has taught me one thing, it's to expect the enexpected! Alcohol is evident, but well infused into the mix.

WOW! This beer is insane! It begins with toasty caramel malts, buttery English toffee, oak, vanilla, yellow raisens, tropical fruits, and malted milk balls. A tsunami of hops quickly washes over! An oily, resinous, thick coating of pine-drenched grapefruit, tangerine, and sweet florals takes me for a long, smooth ride. A superbly crafted alcoholic rush reminds me of the strength. Be warned, you could drink this all night!

The mouthfeel is epic. Like hop infused melted butter. It is thick, viscous, and absolutely paints your mouth with layers of flavor. The carbonation is like silk on your tongue. There is a long finish filled with a multitude of hop flavors. I'll accept a bitch-slapping from this Bastard any time! None better! Good, good, good!!!

AlexJ, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%

Served from the bottle. Poured with a thick, foamy head on top. Lace around the glass. The aroma came across as a bread bowl with slight hints of rye. In the flavor I am noticing different qualities/styles of sugars present. Also, there are sprinklings of spices with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and something I can't name that has a bit of a kick to it. The alcohol is also very noticable. With the mouthfeel, there is a slight alcohol burn on the tongue. Unfortunately, I tend to prefer beers with such a high ABV that are better at conceeling it, so that kind of took away from the experience for me.

MuddyFeet, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

From a 22 oz bomber pours this beautiful ale. A nice bubbly head rests atop a dark red brew. It is slightly lighter at the bottom of the glass than near the head. A nice bold color, complimented by an estery caramel smell. It simply smells of a good blend of hops and grains, with a plenty of alcohol on hand. Bitter hops start and finish the taste in a glorious fashion. In between the hops there is a big full bodied malt taste, lots of sweet caramel and creamy malt. Also a roasted character and a slight hint of nuttiness. Definitely a complex taste. Very full, satisfying mouthfeel. Big and creamy, but broken up by clean citrous hops and warming alcohol. Surprisingly drinkable for the abv, a remarkable brew.

BeerFink, Jan 25, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

2004 version poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees (F), it pours a nice garnet/amnethist (sp?) color, slightly cloudy, w/ very little head; a nice edge layer and nice spongy clinginess from what head there was. A good looking brew IMO. Smell is mainly plums or grapes w/ a very slight soy sauce twang to it. My girlfriend actually said she thought of rasberry chocolate a little, due to the malts, and I even got a little bit of hops sprinkled throughout. Taste up front gives a lot of alcohol. As this warmed, however, vanilla caramel tones came through to the forefront of the sip, along with a heavy dose of fruit (plums & grapes) and even a little almond flavor maybe. Bitter swallow and bitter aftertaste that gives the impression of a creamy bitter malt finish (very nice!). The overall feel of this one is a medium-to-full body (more full), w/ a lot of carbonation up front (due to the temperature maybe) w/ a nice smooth swallow and a lot of 10% alcohol burn on the finish! Definitely a great beer!!!

Fish113d, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of kbub6f
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%

2004 issue. There's an inch of creamy, thick, light beige head. Sticky, lacy, spotty lacing. The beer is a clear, dark red-brown. Nice. Fresh, piney, juicy hops in the nose. The front is hoppy, piney, sweet. The middle is sweet, thick, malty, buttery. Fresh spicy hops and pepper in the finish. Awesome, spicy, buttery hoptacular. Gets fruity with temperature. Loads of hops, but not overpowering. This is insanely good.

kbub6f, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of ism
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

2004 poured into a Chimay glass -- a nice dark ruby hue and golden-amber at the top, with a good, small, tan head. Webby lacing disappears. Aroma of malts, fruits, breadiness, and hops. Very gentle carbonation precedes a complex mix of sweet caramel, plum raisins, biscuits, citrus, and piney hop carried in a full body. Hides the alcohol well -- goes down very smooth with sharp pine and grapefruit notes in the aftertaste that dull after a few gulps, lingering nicely.

ism, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +3%

The beer poured into the glass a clear deep amber. The head was tan and moussy standing tall and falling slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with citrus notes, apricots, deep dark caramel and some alcohol. The hop aromas increased substantially as the beer warmed leaving a distinct resinous pine impression.

The flavor was malty and alcoholic with a fruity impression and a nice maltiness and a munich malt flavor. The frutiness was citrusy and the bittering well done to keep the maltiness of this big brew in check. The malty flavors were unique and interesting with a bready/biscuit impression. As the beer warmed the bittering and hops became more and more resinous.

The finish was dry with a lasting citrusy, fruity flavor and a lingering alcohol warming. The body was full and viscous. A really nice barleywine.

22 ounce bottle. 2004 release. I had a 2002 and was on the fence as to which one to open. Very nice to find that this young example was so well crafted, I fear the 2002 might just have to be cellared a few more years to be sure an accurate impression of old vs new transpires.

GCBrewingCo, Jan 12, 2005
Photo of moocey
4/5  rDev -6.3%

After reading the bottle, I thought this beer may very well hurt me to drink. I was wrong. Double bastard is the smoothest and most drinkable beer over 10% alcohol I've ever had. Big, intense barelywine maltiness up front, yet perfectly balanced by the hop bitterness. Not a whole lot in the way of hop character, but that's the style. After a 22oz bomber of these, most people will be loving life. I know I was.

moocey, Jan 10, 2005
Photo of Gavage
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

Deep dark reddish copper in color with a 1" head. The head quickly receded to a spotty surface foam. The aroma is sweet, as caramel and fruit dominate. The flavor is tremendous, probably one of the smoothest and tasty barley wines I have sampled. Caramel, plum, raisin, toasted nut, and sweet malt are superbly balanced with a sharp hop bite. Hops are very prevelent in this.

The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly crisp at the start. Dry and crisp at the finish. Carbonation levels are just right. The drinkability is quite nice for a barley wine. Find this and try it.

Gavage, Jan 09, 2005
Photo of coasterfreak75
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%

"Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard Shall Set You Free." This is the quote on the bottom of the bottle, believe it, live it, hell know it by heart. This may truely be the must try American beer.

The pour is a dark copper/red with a good two finger rough, thick head that slowly dissapated and left a ring around the top of the beer that held on throughout the drink.

The smell was a complex mix of sweet fruit and pungent hops. You can literally smell the flavor explosion you're about to get from the drink.

The drink starts with a quick bite of sweet fruit and then please lock your tray tables in their upright position the flavor is about to take off. The middle of this is an explosion of fruit, malt, and hops that is almost impossible to explain. The finish is a lingering hop bite mixed with a strange metallic note, but is still quite enjoyable.

Like I said in my opening, try this beer if you like flavor, hops, and more flavor. God bless Stone Brewery for this offering to my un-worthy palate.

coasterfreak75, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of NEhophead
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

'2004 release'
1pt 6 fl oz.

Creamy tan head with good retention. Some thin, but mostly spotted lacing with good strength as well. Bright, deep garnet in color.

Grapefruit and orange tartness. Light chocolate but mostly toffee aromatics. A fruity and tart malt profile as well. A ton of alcohol esters intermingling with the toffee and fruit components.

Toffee and some mild dark chocolate at first. This is followed by a complex fruit tartness: lemon, orange, grapefruit, and green apple. Waves of alcohol. A very assertive hop bitterness that's quite mouth-puckering along with this ale's tartness. A bitter grapefruit aftertaste with hints of chocolate.

Full bodied; overwhelms the palate with an aggressive bitterness, tartness, and alcohol character, yet is surprisingly mellow on the palate.

A shockingly drinkable barleywine, but this is one best enjoyed shared; the alcohol is quite evident. A great beer with great complexity. Another 'gem' from Stone.

NEhophead, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a deep crimson ruby color with a decent head that leaves a nice lace. Aromas consist of a mix between caramels and toffees with some spicy-ass pungent, resinous hops. There is also a heavy dosage of fusel alcohol in the mix. Initial this brew is fucking big, with a firm dosage of malts and alcohol dominating. There is a light sweetness to this brew with a heavy dosage of spicy resinous hops that makes your mouth pucker. There is a nice mix of caramels and toffees and other malts. The body to this brew is full and creamy which really gives it a nice mouthfeel for a barleywine. The finish is utterly bitter and truly a pounding on the pallate, but hey I love it. A truly original barleywine which won't be worthy for the faint of heart!

bigbeerdrinka, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of Pegasus
4.4/5  rDev +3%

Appearance: Clear medium copper color, with a small off-white head, which retains well.

Aroma: Very sweet caramel aroma with a mild note of aromatic hops.

Taste: Intensely, almost cloyingly sweet caramel taste, with secondary notes of brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit, moderated but not subdued by an undercurrent of metallic and medicinal hops, which finally overcome the plethora of sweet flavors and then fade away.

Mouth feel: Very rich, smooth, and full, velvety, with just a hint of soft carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: An utterly superb dessert beer, to be shared with friends. Double Bastard compares favorably to brandy or cognac, in my opinion. In my own estimation, a bomber of this is a bit much for a single person, both because of its alcoholic content and its richness.

Many thanks to Beer Czar Rick for generously sharing this excellent beer.

Pegasus, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of mhowell
3.15/5  rDev -26.2%

Nice deep burnt orange brown color, retaining a thin brown head. Still struggling to define the aroma, wife says 'pineapple? fruity?'. I smell nothing. Very malty flavor with excellent body, then the alcohol steps in and punches you in the mouth. To me, it left behind a 'dried grain fortified with vodka' aftertaste. My God, my lips are numb! I would probably drink this again, but not the wife. Started the sample at 50 deg., and as it warms, it actually seems to mellow and get better.

mhowell, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of BitteBier
4.4/5  rDev +3%

Devilishly ominous reddish-brown color with a tan head that is average in volume and thick in texture. A strong nose characterized by pine resins and a bold mix of spice and citrus. If the smell is bold, the taste is indeed arrogant. Mouthfeel is somewhat oily but just smooth enough to work well. Taste is smooth as well, with a consistent malt sweetness that is complemented nicely by the resins and citrus that are so prominent in the nose. It's always encouraging to find a beer that is as well crafted as it is in-your-face.

BitteBier, Dec 24, 2004
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,638 ratings.