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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,637 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,637
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: 5,637 | Reviews: 1,978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mschofield
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%

Dark reddened brown with a tan head that quickly turns to film.
Citrus hop and malty aroma, with pine, an alcohol kick, caramel, chocolate and dark fruit.
Strong citrus hop taste (strongly grapefruit), nutty, caramel, pine, peppery (alcohol). It was like drinking an IPA mixed with a brown, mixed with a Barleywine.
Sweet malt flavor grows with warming
Full and robust feel, a little rough but a very robust and flavorful brew.
I was concerned that DoubleBastard would be messing with Arrogant Bastard, but I was wrong. This is great, I think it would get even better with aging.

mschofield, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of Admiraldinty
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

Wow is this complex. Pours a dark amber with a nice tannish head. Aroma has floral hops, with citrus and a light malt sweetness. Taste is something else. I think I tasted about three or four different styles of beer within this. Malty, woody and a bit smoky. Citrus notes. Bitter hops that in some ways remind me of some kind of stout or porter, as the bitter aftertaste hangs around for a while. Wow, I just can't get over how much is going on in this beer, and so damned smooth too. Really, really impressive. I'll come back to this one.

Admiraldinty, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of Weissenheimer
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%

This pint is beautiful. The light gives it a wonderful, lambent coppery caramel appearance. Lots of little bubbles slowly ascend to the foamy marshmallow fluff fawn head. I take a sniff. My fear that this would be "like Arrogant Bastard, but moreso" were unfounded. The scent doesn't even remind me of Bastard except for the citrus constituent, and even that is not immediately detectable. The smell is sharply hoppy with a sweet citrus overtone.

I take a taste, and... Mmmm. This is much more balanced than Bastard. It's tasty, astringent, woody, and malty, with plenty of molasses and a hint of smoke. It's really impressively complex, and with each sip I become more amazed at the elaborate and languorous progression of flavors. First comes a malty, woody, slighty smoky taste. Then I get a wave of citrus which reconfigures itself into a hoppy bitterness. After that comes a scorched, ashy phase and finally a tart, bitter finish which lasts well over thirty seconds. Yes, I was actually so impressed with the taste progression that I timed it.

This beer has certain qualities of Belgians, most noteably a marked complexity. However, it's most definitely its own animal, and unmistakably American. I'll be getting more of this.

Weissenheimer, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours with a nice, frothy, three-finger-deep, barely off-white head of various-sized bubbles and good clumping; cling is okay but not particularly sticky. Color of bronze with near-garnet highlights; copper glow and dark, orangey-honey... changing all the time as I move the glass through different lighting conditions... hey, what color is this, anyway? Aroma: honey, cinnamon, bit of nutmeg. Cane-sugar maltiness up front; leafy, cool hops at back of nose achieve near strawberry tones; slight touch of warm alcohol. Where to even start with the flavor? Malts up front, enormous brown sugar and butterscotch all over the palate, then huge hops come barrelling through, unbelievably fresh, flowery hops! grapefruity and tannic; alcohol warmth in midpalate and is that rosemary?! rye whiskey? Wolloping mouthfeel is just body, body, body that BITES; firm, pervasive, lingering. Drinkability gets high marks because you just keep coming back to explore the flavors. In a word? Vast.

NearerMyBeerToMe, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of taez555
5/5  rDev +17.1%

This beer poured a dark brown ruby red body with a small tan head.

The nose was a dark, sweet malt smell. Soft citrus tones. Sweet and actually a little fruity. A slight touch of bread and biscuit even.

This beer was very thick and fully bodied. Lots of dark malts, with big juicy fruit with a strong citrus hop taste. It basically starts off very juicy, almost like an apple. It then proceeds into this dark malt taste, and then... it's followed by a huge, very loose, centennial type high alpha acid hop taste. Smooth and very present, but really all over the place hop wise.

Overall I was really impressed by this beer. I'm sure the description doesn't do it justice. I've never been a big fan of the arrogant bastard. I can admire it, but it just seems like all the flavors are stuck together as if it's coal being pressed into a diamond. This though.... The flavors are all there, it's very drinkable, and just very tasty. A superb beer, my new favorite from Stone.

taez555, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of byrd
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

Double Bastard pours with a large frothy head that is quite long lasting. The head eventually dissipates to a thick light brown lace. Reddish brown in color and clear, yet becomes hazy on later pours and white sediment eventually collects on the bottom of the glass. This brew is wonderful, but tough for me to wrap my arms around. The aroma is strong with notes of dark fruit and caramel malt. I picked up some slight vinous notes on the nose as well, along with loads of hops and alcohol. The start is smooth with dark fruits and a touch of oak and alcohol (rum, whiskey, bourbon, can’t really put my finger on it). The hops kick in mid swallow, and last through the finish. Alcohol melds with all the piney, grapefruity hops and leads to a rather warming finish. Some roasted notes are also noticeable in the end reminding you that the malts have never faded from the picture. The aftertaste lasts forever. Rich, complex brew. At 10% ABV, this is one that is great to enjoy slowly during an evening. Flavors develop even more as the brew warms a bit, making a slow paced drinking of this brew even more rewarding.

I bought 4 of these this winter, and have made sure to put one aside for next year. The rest won't make it through the month.

byrd, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of Indybeer
3.15/5  rDev -26.2%

Bomber. Poured a deep copper with a fairly decent head that stuck around, leaving some lacing behind. Aroma is very malty with plenty of hops. Taste is well.... some people can find malt in there, well all I taste is hops, hops and more hops. Mouthfeel starts out smooth and mildly sweet, then what rears it's mightly head? hops, hops, and more hops! To me this is just another IPA, more than a Strong/old ale. A true hop lovers dream. But for me it is just overpoweringly bitter.

Indybeer, Dec 10, 2003
Photo of Starchild
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%

When I used to think West Coast, I would imagine Sierra Nevada Pale ale, but I’m starting to picture big bold hoppy beers like this. Stone has displaced my notion of the west. Great pour into my chalice and perfect accompaniment from Metallica with “Welcome Home”. Great garnet color with just a ring of foam around the sides of the glass after the foam head dissipated. Big bold taste. It’s heavy on the hops and heavy on the alcohol. Some pine, pepper, citrus going on juxtaposed by spices. I always wonder if my reviews become biased at I drink a 22 oz 10 percent bomber. Anyway, I love how this beer in writing and taste embodies Stone….I’m not sure if one brew speaks realms about any another brewery. I bought three of these and I’m regretting not buying a case. This blows me away.

Real Horrorshow

Starchild, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of Lafe
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%

Hated by many, loved by few. Loved by me.

Pouring this bastard revealed a lovely reddish caramel color, and released the most amazing malty aroma I've had from any beer. What the smell promised, the taste delivered. First on the palate was an almost confusing explosion of flavor lorded over by a malty sweetness and quickly followed by a punch of hop bitterness. The high alcohol lurks in the background, but is evident. After the chaos subsides, you're left with a malty caramel aftertaste, and a lingering bitterness.

This beer is far sweeter than I expected, almost like a barleywine, but the alcohol flavor and roasted notes make it seem almost dry. There is a lot of complexity in the flavors of this beer, and they change delightfully as the beer warms.

Very low carbonation, and not much head, but still a fringe of lace that follows the surface of the beer to the bottom of the glass.

I love this beer.

Lafe, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of benmiliron
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

This one has been in the house for almost a week and I finally just cracked it open. Listening to "Master of Puppets" while I drink and review this as it seems appropriate. First impression is thick, molasses-like, nearly syrupy. Smell of malt knocks you over, but hop fragrance not very noticeable, which I prefer, but the malt aroma is very nice. Couldn't get much head out of this one either, but the Bastard cares not.

First taste: holy shit. it's all about the malt here; and the malt hits you like a freight train on steroids. Underlying alcohol plays with the malt on your tongue.

A few more swallows: sugarless caramel, chocolate and coffee. Dry, but not overly dry. 10% alcohol packs a punch.

Halfway through: just phenomenal blend of malt. This is what malt was meant to do. More hops would be interesting, but might interfere.

Finishing: I thought it too thick at first, but with a lot of food in my belly, I'd be able to drink this lovely brew all night (though I couldn't afford it!) A lesson on the beauty and oft-forgotten capabilities of malted barley. Thank you Stone Brewing!

benmiliron, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of oggg
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%

2003 Double Bastard Bomber

What the heck type of beer is this? I figured it'd be a double IPA or something, who knows. Certainly not a barleywine, IMHO.

Appearance wise, you can't tell what you're in for. Dark orange brown, nice head.

Then you get the aroma, and you expect, oh hey, a nasty bitter IPA is coming up. Anything that smells this wonderful is going to wring my tongue with bitterness.

You do indeed get hit with a marvelous hop bite... a hop gnash... king kong size, mac truck bitterness. I've never had anything this bitter. Marin Brewing White Knuckle, maybe... But the malt backbone, the caramel, the malt, the malt is the key. It starts strong and ends stronger and really keeps the bitterness in perspective. The bitterness does not linger and you're left with sweet malty caramelly chewiness.

I just saw that this beer is in the Strong/Old Ale category. I guess that would be appropriate. No winey taste of a barleywine here. At 10%ABV, you don't notice it AT ALL. After one 16oz glass, I was flying high. I let my roommate taste it, and he didn't notice the alcohol at all either, so it wasn't just because I was in heaven. Why on earth is it in a freakin bomber? Because after you wake up, you can finish the rest of it and start you're trip back to heaven all over again.

Stock up on this one.

oggg, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Wowee, wow, wow, what a fantastic beer! The beer Gods from Stone have bestowed this upon us for a reason, because to know heaven you must pass through hell! This is pure pleasure and make no mistake you will pay by nights end. Pours a deep firey tawny amber brown, settles a bit darker in the chalice glowing of newly created lava from the earths crust as it procedes to grow a tall, firmly thickened, whipped froth of tannish wonder. Fades ever so slowly like a dieing fire to a thin ring and a hazy skim across the liquid leaving massive sticking amounts of webby laced sheets. Aroma appears stronger then smoke, more like heat from an oven with mounting sweet caramel, lightly burnt, darkened tropical passion fruits, earthy crispness of deep woods pineyness. Malts are king in this world of aroma, ruling with a mighty pitch fork that pokes at the hops as if to say "Ha, ha... Try to take my throne you measly weed". Taste is where it leads you down the path of whats about to become a head full of everything thats tempting. Complexing malts are forest fire big, tons of great semi sweet caramel, thick and thicker yet, flowing in and out of scorched and deeply ripe dark fruityness, pineapple, mango, plum, and raisins bursting within with a light burntness touching everything. Its calmingly smooth and far to creamy for such a fire to burn, but yet it does, and it builds with a wind of hops thats burning up brush of small dwindling pine, dried leaves, and wood. Incredibly balanced bitterness is deep and crackly over the musculature of the big boned skeleton of malts. Alcohol never makes its presense felt til it finds its way to the head where it smokes out any notions of all before it. You remember liking this thing you enjoyed the next day but are now lurking around like a zombie wondering how in the hell did I survive such a dance with the flames of a devil. F*cking great stuff!! Can't wait to dance again with this dark nectar, but not any time soon, as not to become a devils second hand. I hopefully have learned my lesson. Why did they have to put this in a bomber? Much like a devil its always tempting you to take more.

tavernjef, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of Shiredave
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%

Bottle diatribe/ public service rant against contract brews is hystarical. It gets even funnier as you drink and look up words in the dictionary.
Hazy, ruby brown, sporting a gooey biege head atop that looks like kreusen on fermenting wort in primary. Lace drips all around the tulip glass.
Aroma is all juicy ale-fruit and crushed wildflower petals- clean and pungant but not overpowering.
Up front the flavor is ripe spiced fruit - sweet red watermelon and vanilla with a sort of nutmegy thing goin on. Hot red pepper and pine needle hop bite takes over aggressively, sending grappling hooks of bitterness into the tongue and throat.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Big barleywine body, slick and oily feel w/out being real heavy and alcoholic. Lush, creamy malt coats the mouth as a thin barrier against the citrus and pine hop barrage.
Warm bitterness and slow Tequilla like burn lingers forever.
2003 bottle which I think now I should have sat on for a while longer. The big malt body and flavor are there, waiting for the confligration of hop activity to calm thier little green asses down so balance and order can take hold.
Remarkable marriage of Classic British malt sweetness and west Coast hop flavor and intensity. One of the top barleywines Ive ever had, and in the Top 10 on my 2000+ beer list. Outstanding.
* I do not recomend drinking an entire 22oz on an empty stomach. It would seem this elixer has hallucinagenic qualities.... does the word " Flashback" mean anything to you..? Like... wow man!

Shiredave, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of gotbeer
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

This is one strong beer that will make your head ring. It is dark amber in color, and pours with a nice head that remains lacing the glass as you drink it. The smell is sweet with a fruity, almost grapefruit like quality. The taste is smooth, with a heavy dose of hops. It has almost a syrupy consistency to it as you sip, but a pleasant sweet aftertaste. Strong malt flavors as well, more so than the regular Arrogant Bastard. It's amazing to me that this beer is 10% ABV the way it goes down. The alcohol taste is not overpowering, and the fruity hops and malt make it almost unoticable. I wouldn't reccomend trying to finish more than one bomber at a sitting due to the high alcohol content. With it's drinkability though, the taste would allow you to do so. This is a straight up American barleywine with an ass kicking hop profile with malt balance. I would recommend this one to others, and I'll surely try it again.

gotbeer, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of Dmann
5/5  rDev +17.1%

This is truly a beer I could live off of. The beer is a stunning dark amber color with about a half inch thick dense head that lasted till the last drop. I just love the smell of this beer. It's smell is obveously familliar to Arrogant Bastard but the harsh hop and pine scents are tamed down quite a bit, and replaced by a much maltier scent. The flavour is perfect. It starts out with a huge hop kick and then settles into a nice carmel flavor with a slight bittersweet aftertaste. The taste of pine is there too, but not nearly as much as Arrogant Bastard. As the beer warms, the hop bite becomes more subtle and the warming alchohol and malt flavors come out much more. This is a beer that I could drink any time, but I dont know if my liver could handle it! Highly recommended.

Dmann, Nov 29, 2003
Photo of irishmoss
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%

New 2003 edition of this Double Bastard poured a deep ruby red garnet color in a large goblet. Very thick kaki tan head that was about two fingers thick. Lace clung well to the sides of the goblet.

The aroma was grapefruit and caramel off the start with a slight kick of alcohol. The taste was unbelievable. A roasted malt backbone holds together the citrus and spruce flavors from the hops. Caramel sweetness and some brown sugar tones combined with some kinda spiciness, maybe coriander; hide the high ABV in this Bastard. This has to be one of the most well balanced ales I've had.

Nice chewy thickness with the perfect amount of carbonation, this coats the mouth and slides down the throat. And that fact scares the shit out of me. This Arrogant Bastard's older brother was more like Old Guardian's uncle; I'm trying to say that it was very barleywine like. Not that this is a bad thing...

irishmoss, Nov 28, 2003
Photo of ithacabaron
3.8/5  rDev -11%

2003 bottling.

Pours a deep cloudy amber with a small head that quickly retreats to little more than a coating.

Smell is rotting grapefruit rind (not a bad thing, mind you) and citric acid, with a slight black pepper spiciness.

Taste is quite pungent, and lacks the malt to back the hoppiness up (although this is quite malty). Don't be mistaken, there is quite a bit of alcohol in here (the alcohol is not phenolic, but clean, crisp, and entirely noticeable) but it is thin in nature, sort of like an immature Brooklyn Monster Ale.

Drinkablility is low, if only because one has a hard time rising from their chair after a bomber of this. No one needs to drink a bomber of barleywine, and that's coming from a barleywine lover. By the time you hit halfway through, you can't taste much anyway. I was, however, able to revive my palate with some roquefort cheese, and soon it was ready for more DB.

This is very young and green, and overly hopped -- and yes, I know that's the point. Also, I've heard others complain about the bottle size, and I do think it is a lot, but this would be the perfect size to break out at a dinner party, with snifters for all.

I'm glad microbrewing in the United States allows such experiments and boundary testing as this, and that such a product exists...I just need to get a few of these boys and save them -- wouldn't appriciate it as much if I could drink it every day.

ithacabaron, Nov 28, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

Reminded me somewhat of the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Has the big-time malt and body, but also shows plenty of hoppiness in the taste and aroma. Almost a little "green". Initially, I smelled (and tasted) grapefruit. Dark appearance, with foamy head and good retention. Overall, a wonderful mix of "old ale" maltiness, and double IPA hoppiness. I thoroughly enjoyed this, it's good for what ails you! The alcohol is only noticed in the after-effect, not in the taste.

JohnnyDuvel, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%

22 oz bomber of the 2003 release served slightly chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Hazy dark ruby liquor topped with a scanty beige head that's quite short lived. Smallish bits of lace are left on the glass.

Smell: Glorious grapefruit, pine, pepper, circus peanut candy, and caramel malt aromas. Nicely pungent. I also caught a mildly soapy smell once or twice.

Taste: Painfully bittersweet initial assault followed by some raisiny caramel malt sweetness. Lingering pine aftertastes. Alcohol flavors lurk menacingly in the background, packing heat.

Mouthfeel: Slight burning sensation as this goes down, but it's quite pleasant. Bracing and heavy in body, this is reminiscent of a really really hoppy barleywine in feel.

Drinkability: This is sadistically good. Almost everything about this beer is meant to challenge to the worthy and punish the unworthy. I admit I experienced both in equal measure, but I kept coming back for more. This is probably the beer equivalent of Joyce's "Ulysses," and I mean that as a compliment.

ManekiNeko, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%

Sampled from a 2003 release 22oz bomber I bought last week at Whole Foods Market in Pasadena. Has a clear cinnamon color with a ¾” blotchy, firm tan/beige head that left a decent amount of sticky lace around the glass.
The smell was more subdued than anticipated. Still, the spruce and grapefruit notes are there and some caramel. As it warmed, hints of alcohol leach out too. The taste was a direct hit from a hops bomb. Plenty of resinous grapefruit peel and piney hops juice yet not completely overpowering as it coats the tongue. Some sweet candy-ish flavor noted but not very much else in terms of malts or other flavors. The alcohol content shows itself with a nice bit as DB warms, leaving a soothing warming sensation in the finish. The feel was full-bodied, thick and syrupy and smooth as the viscous brew coats the palate. I almost felt like getting a knife and fork for this beer.
Even after slowly putting away this bomber, I was still wondering if the floor would soon rise up to greet me, such is the alcohol content. As such, I don’t see myself ever drinking more than one Double Bastard at a sitting. I’ll be very interested in seeing how this edition ages.

Boilermaker88, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%

Poured a burnished ruby/copper color with a big foamy, chunky tan head. Left good lace. Big malty sweet aroma with some caramel, fruitiness and citrus hops.The alcohol was also present.
Huge rich malt taste with caramel/brown sugar sweetness, fruits and a nice citrus rind hop bitterness. Noticable alcohol, but not in a bad way. More a part of the package than its own entity. Complex and nicely balanced.
Full bodied mouthfeel. Smooth, creamy and syrupy. Very barleywine-like. Unbelivable drinkibility for a 10% brew.

rkhaze, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of mikeys01
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

2003 Double Bastard, obtained from Town & Country Liquors in Springfield, MA. Appearance is a nice deep garnet, with a perfectly satisfying tan head that leaves decent lacing on the mug. Aroma is sweet, piney hoppy, and certainly hintig at its bastardish alcohol content. Body is quite full and very smooth. Taste is sweet caramel malt at first, then bursting into fresh hops that drench the tongue in a myriad of complex citric and pine flavors. Alcohol becomes a bit more noticeable in the finish, but only a bit, the Double Bastard goes down smooth without incident, but you feel it later! This is a fine and tasty brew from the fine folks at Stone.

mikeys01, Nov 23, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%

2003 Release 22 Oz. Bottle

Beautiful cherry/amber/dark ruby color with lots of carbonation in the goblet. The slightly pale beige head is rich and lasting with a lingering frothy clinging lace on the glass. Rich caramel sweet smell with a wisp of cotton candy and grass stained jeans. Rich dark (cooked)caramel taste with hints of fig and grapefruit rind. The finish leaves the tongue smooth with hints of pine. The mouth is very complex the brew starts very very smooth and silky and then as the brew rolls down the throat the mouth gets dry with a hop pucker of dark fruits. It leaves you wanting more. Hypnotic in its complexity. The ABV is hidden under the goblet in its ruby shadow. Soft subtile and sweet upfront and then you are clocked in the skull with a fruity hop bat... balence... is a great thing in such a big beer.

frank4sail, Nov 23, 2003
Photo of clvand0
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

2003 Edition. I've been waiting to try this one for a long time - I also need to re-taste Arrogant Bastard now that my tastes have matured. Served from a 22oz bomber and poured into a Belgian trappist-style glass. This one pours a very nice dark ruby color with a medium tan head that leaves a small trace of lacing on the glass. The alcohol is very evident in the aroma. Fruits (grapefruit?), malts, and the alcohol are the main parts of this most powerful aroma. The malts are strong in the taste and it has a syrup-like characteristic. Grapes and caramel were upfront in the flavor along with a strong alcohol taste. Almost reminds me of red wine in the aroma ... Great beer. Loved it. The description on the back of the bottle is spectacular as well.

Just as a side note from my experience yesterday - if you're going to drink the bomber by yourself (most likely), be sure to take your time drinking it because this is one powerful beer - I don't remember actually finishing the bottle.

clvand0, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%

2003 Edition. Holy wow. 22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a super dark reddish-brown color with two fingers of off-white head with good retention and lots of lacing. The smell is full of citrus with ripe oranges and grapefruit. Hops also make their presence known in the smell. The overall aroma is just so full and bold. The taste has a good malt beginning that is a little sweet, then the taste is taken over by floral hops and ruby-red grapefruit. The balance of this brew is just incredible. Not many have ever been this balanced. The mouthfeel is super thick and heavy, like WWS meets maple syrup. The drinkability is the best I've ever seen from an ale this strong. I could just keep drinking and drinking. Totally fantastic. Wow, just wow.

SheepNutz, Nov 18, 2003
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,637 ratings.