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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.

5,889 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,889
Reviews: 2,003
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 378
Gots: 867 | FT: 29
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: 5,889 | Reviews: 2,003 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Metalmonk
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[2004 release]

As with the Double Bastard's cousin Arrogant Bastard, D.B. strikes me as a hybrid of several more easily definable styles, mixing elements of Barleywines, Strong Belgian Dark Ales and Double IPAs. And I ain't complaining...this is the STUFF.

Pours a caramel/amber color crowned with a creamy head that foams like and then forms a light dollop of whipped topping. Modest bubble activity and good-looking but scattered lace.

Smells rich without being overly sweet, lotsa caramel, ripened dark fruits, toffee, grapefruit and...more gooey hot caramel.

Flavors are many--see list of aromas above for the details, and add subtle coffee bean and pineapple to those. Two things impress the most: the insane complexity of the malts and the extremely well-hidden alcohol. The malts here are rich and candy-like without having any kind of cloying sweet-tooth overkill. Just pure pleasure. As for the alcohol %, it doesn't bowl me over with warm vapors the way most 10%+ beers do. This lets those well-balanced flavors breathe and impress. The rich, creamy, velvety feel in the mouth only adds to the huge drinkability and enjoyment factor. [The hops are dialed down in this, compared to a fresh batch (this is a couple years aged); fresher DBs I've had incorporate big pine-like hop character right alongside its other wonderful traits.]

oh man oh man oh man...oh wow. This is a freaking GREAT beer. Period. If we ever have children, the kid's name is Stone. Boy or girl. True dat.

Metalmonk, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of ampzilla
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

DB is King.
Poured dark amber with 1/5 inch head into room temp. Belgian chalice.
Smell was over the top. Exceptional aroma of rich malt and hops. Alcohol is not bashful either. This Bastard doesn't knock before he enters.
Taste is addictave. Come for the hops, stay for the malt. Or vice versa. Have it your way. Mouth feel is alright. Hops linger on the back of the palate inviting another sip. I would drink this all day if I could. No way at 10% ABV.

ampzilla, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bomber. a cousin picked up two bottles when they were released last year. the first one was shared over new years. this one has been tucked away in the cellar since, waiting patiently.

pours a dark clear mahogany crimson color in my favorite kmart mug. head forms slowly over the course fo the 6oz pour. i imagine pouring the entire bomber would have formed a larger head, but this one will suffice.
starts out about 1cm, lightly tanned, and settles to just under half its original size. looks like it just sort of compacted as its fairly dense.

fantastic aroma. great mix of hoppy citrus, pine, grapefruit and seriously thick malt, booze and sweetness. i dont like using "thick" to describe aromas or flavors but it fits here.

everything just sort of works together and. no, thats not right. it doesnt just sort of work together. its like a well oiled machine. think of one of the all time great sports teams. the lakers of the `80s for instance. each player is like one aspect of the aroma. magic, the malt. kareem, the booze. worthy, the citrus. each one working to make the other, and thus the team, better. thats what this smell is like.

one word to describe the taste? powerful.
yup, powerful. each sip is a reminder of the strength, absolute no holds barred domination of this beer over the tastebuds. i pick myself up off the canvas to type a few words between tastes. definitely a sipper.

strong malt presence with booze taking second spot. sharp hop bitterness comes in and throws a few jabs after the malt fades.
tough to pick up any hop flavor. id say its pallate fatigue, but im only about 5oz in. more likely its just being pushed aside.
sweetens slightly as it warms, but the strength, malt and booze are still there too.

mouthfeel could be a bit more substantial. for how big the taste is, the mouthfeel could use some of that "bigness". goes down too light when it could kick your ass so quick.

drinkability? well, i could not imagine having a three liter bottle of this stuff. im glad its only 8pm. gives me plenty of time to finish it off. or it finish me off?? lacerative is quite right.

joecast, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of 3Vandoo
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burgundy amberish beer who is quite creamy and thick, beige head that doesnt come off too quickly let itself die slowly.

Smell is quite rich, chocolate, burn coffee aromas, sweet sugars, cherry like flavours come out. Shy hoppy smells, piney come out, but very shy.

In taste, this is quite creamy and rich. One of the tasties creamiest heaviest beer I've had in a long time, so much I couldnt finish a bottle by myself.
Rich sugary flavours, with a shy carbonation, well balanced and malted.
Very smooth in mouth, balanced between the hops and the malt, quite unusualy for Stone.


3Vandoo, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Double Bastard 2005

05/24/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2005 version. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep copper in color. Brandy-like in color. Pours with a ¾ inch white head. Decent amount remains until the finish. Light streaks and flashes of lacing.

Smell- Mixture of english and american. Heavy pine and fruity hops. On the other hand, lots of booze soaked caramel and butterscotch fruitcake. Nice combo. Even the scent gets you buzzed.

Taste- As expected..a full onslaught of hard hitting hops. Woodsy and piney, fruity and bitter, perfumey and floral. The full spectrum here. Very nice rich caramel malt holds this together the best it can. With the amount of IBU's in this beer, you really can't expect to have a truly balanced beer. But, considering, it's about as balanced as can get. The bitterness last long and into the night.

Mouthfeel- After warming up it gets considerably thicker and viscous. Bitterness I'm sure I will be tasting in the morning. Carbonation is mid range...less as it warms.

Drinkability- My first Double Bastard! Good stuff. I enjoyed it warm and right out of the fridge. Mmmm, hops!

***2004 Release

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2004 release. Poured into my Double Bastard tumbler or some other bastardized glass type. Looks like something you would serve a white russian in.

Appearance- Reminds me a lot of the Old Gaurdian I had last night. Light brown and the dark orange side. Almost liquor like (brandy?) About a 1/2 inch head which evaporates soon after. Leaves very mild lace marks.

Smell- A bit more on the malty side with a nice caramel and bubble gum nose. Hops are present, but a bit subdued. Stone...subdued?!?! Yeah, it's been 3 years plus. Mild grapefruit scent from the lupulin.

Taste- Fairly well balanced. Heavy and sweet caramel malted taste with a muted hop assortment. Some grapefruit, a bit of pine and a dash or assorted citrus flavors. Even a hint of black cherry at one point.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, slick and medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Liked it better aged I think. A bit buzzed right now after this and another 12oz 10% plus beer, but overall it was failry well balanced, flavorful and finished well. Boosting the rating a bit, I think...

***2006 Release

Two years in the cellar has been good to this beer. A full onslaught of both pine and grapefruit hops as well as a nice roasted caramel malt presence. All together very well rounded. Has a noticable alcohol flavor though. At first sip it seems much higher in abv than 10%. It does calm down though and becomes quite a nice beer as it warms. Drink now or hold for another year.

***2007 Release

This one has had about 4 months in the cellar. Actually, I just bought it...a bit late this year on getting my annual releases. Anyway, this one seems much more balanced right off the mark. Don't get me wrong...this is Stone and hops are king...make that hardcore hops. But the caramel malt comes out much more than in past fresh bottles. Still could use a full year in the cellar (or more), but fairly drinkable right now.

***2008 Release

Freshly consumed about two weeks after the release date. Furious burning hops and a hefty alcohol presence. Burns going down until the last third of the bottle after it calms down. Not really a hugh bitter aftertaste though, which is odd. Almost has a cherry cough syrup-like taste. Needs at LEAST a year in the cellar for me. Still good 'ol Stone though.

GClarkage, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear chestnut with ruby highlights. Light tan head. Big, bold hopping defines the nose, with evidence of caramel and alcohol hidden in there somewhere. The bitterness in this beer is intense -- big and up-front, grabbing hold of the palate and not letting go. There's a good dose of malt in there too, with some toasty notes, lest this be perceived as a DIPA. It's more like an American Brown Ale on steroids. The Cream AND the Clear. The Double Bastard's bitterness would be on the high end even for a Barleywine, but it doesn't have the body and residual sweetness of a BW. Still, my 22 oz. bomber provided over an hour and a half's worth of drinking enjoyment.

DB is big, bold, immensely satisfying, and all the other things you'd expect from Stone. Praise be to the Bastard.

VoodooBrew, May 12, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - it poured a cloudy deep mber/ copper color. It didnt have much of a head but what it did have, it laced up nicely.

S - Strong everything. There was an abundance of floral, citrus hops in the nose, with the heavy sweetness of malt brining up the rear.

T - Its an all-around collision of flavors going on here. The thing is that they were all balanced very nicely.

M - Heavy and smoth, There was no slickness, or an overly strong carbination bite going on. it was nice.

D - For the style it is an excellent example. But one of these a night is enough for me.

quasimoto, May 07, 2006
Photo of Boolshot
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep orange/amber, and smelled of sweet/tart grapefruit. Truly Double the Arrogance. Very hoppy to start, then the hop/caramel/citrus tastes settles in, with a clean slightly sweet finish. I would never guess the ABV without checking the bottle. This really knocked my socks off!

Boolshot, May 07, 2006
Photo of johnniemarg
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours a ruby/amber with a yellow-ish half inch of head. I don't get any lacing whatsoever.

This smells very good. First thing I notice is a sweet cherry smell and then some caramel malt, spicy hops and finally alcohol. The sweet fruity cherry smell is much stronger than any of the other smells.

The sweetness in the smell barely comes through in the taste at first. My first thought after sipping this is that the alcohol is too overpowering....I sat back and let it warm a bit because I think it might have been too cold....It is indeed much better after it warms a bit. The sweet, matly cherry flavor hits your tongue first, then the hops come on strong and you finish with a mouthfull of alcohol. The hops combined with the high alcohol content give this brew an astringet quality if it's too cold, but this goes away as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily. The alcohol is warming in the mouth and all the way down into the stomach.

This is a good beer, but it truly is an assault on the taste buds.

johnniemarg, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of Freshie
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me just start off with, ...wow.

The 2005 incarnation.

Pours a nice rich amber color with frothy head.

Smells of pine and alcohol, but a very warming alcohol.

The taste is very rich in caramel malt, with a strong citrus/pine hop flavour in it. The alcohol burn gives a proverbial kick in your tongue with a very warming side of spicy.

Just a very strong, dark, alcoholic ale. A Very tasty, smooth, and enriching experience.

Freshie, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At the time of consumption I assumed I was drinking a barleywine, although the style doesn't really matter all that much; this is a very good beer, hoppy and strong. Enjoed with a friend from a bomber into oversized wine glasses where the beer was allowed to breath and let loose it's bonanza of different fruity and hoppy scents. A strong and alcoholic brew, every part of this beer is extreme, finishing with mouth watering hops. Creamy mouthfeel, I wonder if the glassware had any part in it. It is a big beer, and to both of us this was the equivalent of knockout gas.

TastyTaste, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, I think this is from kmpitz2

2004 edition

appearance: an intimidating bottle from stone...a beautiful pour into my snifter...a rich royal amber, its shines brightly, a large creamy dark beige head forms and leaves fabulous lacing....very impressive appearance

smell: very potent aromas, sweet alcohol soaked dark fruits, thick sweet malt, huge creamy caramel, still a lingering green hop bite, slght pine aroma, brown sugar...glorious

taste: amazingly smooth, alcohol does not hide in this one, alcohol soaked dark fruit, cherry, fig, brown sugar, sweet heavy malts, grapefruit/pine hop sting still evident, evidence of oak and other woodiness, very strong all around

mouthfeel: very creamy, alcohol warming sensation abundant, hop bitterness lingers

drinkability: very good, moderation is key

dirtylou, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of chilidog
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Over the years i've sorta steared clear of DB for I thought it would be a double hop version of Arrogant. Not being a hop monster guy, how I was surprised that thisone was not as I thought.
It pours a good looking reddish mahogany with a tan like head that maintained about a half inch. Lace was spotted.
The aroma has a pine hop and alcohol hew. The taste is what shows-off this beers complex nature. The taste of pine, citric rind and hop that is well balanced with a roasted malt and alcohol spice background. The alcohol warms as its aided by a 10% showing.
The beer is not so much Arrogant, but very very drinkable. A fine Stone offering indeed that I won't shy away from in the future, but will seek out annually indeed.

chilidog, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2002 Edition

Appearance - pours a murky, dank red. A thin crown of light tan bubbles manages a string of lace or two before settling to an impartial covering.

Aroma -initially some citrusy zest on the pour with some sweet fruity and boozy essences. Fades a bit after a minute but still picking some of it up.

Taste - prickly hops right out of the gate. Sweetness and alcohol quickly envelope everything, but a few moments later the hops burn back through, dry and bitter, Not as much floral to this aged bottle but still plenty of bite. Alcohol is not hidden but is well-integrated. Improves significantly as it warms, more fruit and brown sugar flavor coming through, providing some much needed depth.

Mouthfeel - smooth, good weight to it, and the carbonation picks up the beer well, giving it some spiciness.

Drinkability - this one didn't really sit well on my palate, but it'll drink.

brewdlyhooked13, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of BadBadger
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Release

This fine ale pours a nice dark copper color. The head is slightly off-white (nearing a tan) and it does not last long. The olfactory apparatus: first is knocked back by the alcohol contained within. Subsequent sniffs are not as neck snapping, with malty and hoppy scents coming through (don't be off-put initially-just brace yourself for an experience), The taste is sweet and bitter at the same time. There is a wonderful thicknees to the after-taste. Damnation this is not to be avoided. Do not cellar this...drink immediately and then run out (the next day) and buy a few more. If you have passed this up...you are a fool. Enjoy!!!

BadBadger, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of rajendra82
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 Release

It’s been nearly a year and a half since I acquired this bomber via trade, and I read today that this beer tastes best at this age. My palette has evolved quite a bit since the last time I tried this one. It is time to find out if this beer has undergone some evolution as well.

The beer came out the traditional color of barleywine, which to me is burgundy with a touch of orange. The first pour was clear, and had a one finger thick head with remarkable staying power. Carbonation in the underlying beer was gentle looking but steady. The aroma was multilayered malts with vanilla, hazelnut, toffee, and chocolate. Not many hops were detectable using the nose. The taste was amazingly complex as well. Flavors of chocolate, oak, black pepper, raisins, and mandarin orange were found in each sip. The mouthfeel however was a little pricklier than I remembered. Radiating warmth was felt in the belly, letting the alcoholic strength numb away all angst about letting this sit in a warmer than recommended cellaring closet. I can see this one going a few more years along the ascending path. Unfortunately no more bottles are left in the cellar to test the theory. Time for a Chattanooga beer run soon I think.

rajendra82, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of briman
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle in standard pint glass.

Pours slowy, like syrup and has a hazy copper color, with a very slight off while head that went away almost immediately.

Smell is sweet, and malty...some brown sugar or molasses, bits of vanilla, alcohol and a slight hop presence.

Taste is big and malty. Lots of caramel malt, molasses notes. The finish has a nice lingering hop bitterness, with an evident alcohol bite.

Medium bodied, almost syrupy. Coats all the way down. Definite warming effect, thought it might be a little harsh being so high in ABV, but that's not the case at all.

A wonderful experience all around...very easy to drink, and almost get lost in...but at 10% probably only good for one in a session.

briman, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of DeaconBluez
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

courtesy of beerbeing

2005 sampling

appearance is like a penny that is 3 years old. there is a nice slight tan had, with great lacing, which is a good characteristic of most stone brews. the smell is very molassey/brown sugarry. the hops are also very present. the taste is incredible. notes of caramel, raisins, pine, and hints of citrus. man, i love the sweetness of this brew. alcohol ios present, but not scary. very drinkable if it weren't for the higher abv on this, i would love to sit around and just sip this bad boy all night.

DeaconBluez, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of bignick
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one delicious and hard-hitting beer. Its greatest strength is its range of flavors that are in addition to the very deep hoppiness that seem to characterize all of Stone's brews. I get the flavors of caramel, grapefruit, molasses, alcohol, and even chocolate. It is just a wonderfully intense and delicous brew. The one criticism, and this is in the context of it being one of my favorite American beers, is that, while each sip indivually goes down very smoothly, it is difficult to keep drinking this for a while. I guess that this is for the better for a 10% abv beer.

bignick, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of ski271
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stone on tap at Zeno’s! Awesome! About time we’re able to get it in central PA.
Pours a clear medium-dark copper with a small, off-white, creamy, slowly diminishing head. The smell surprisingly mild and sweet… well, it’s not really mild but I was expecting an Arrogant Bastard on steroids, but smells like they didn’t go for a ridiculously big beer, like many brewers tend to do. Wonderful aromas of fruity and piney hops and smooth roasted malts. The taste is…. Oh wow, it’s big and delicious! Huge flavors of piney hops and caramel malts, but what sets apart from the other and makes it superior is the excellent balance. It has a full body, oily, slightly syrupy texture and soft carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel for the big-beer experience. This beer goes down wickedly easy for as strong as it is. It’s liquid crack. I really want to go back to Zeno’s soon to try the other Stone beers they have on tap while they last, but I’m not sure how I’ll be able to pick anything over the DB. I need a fix!!!! MUST…. HAVE…. MORE… DOUBLE BASTARD!!!

ski271, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of cameraman
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark reddish brown color, off creamy head form, the head laces very well. A incredible aroma of hops comes through with citrus and earthy scents. The taste is intense, some malt comes in right at the beginning , then the hops begin their assault on your taste buds. The hops come through predominantly the citrus flavors come through. In the mouth it is heavy and rich, slightly chewy, but coats the mouth wondefully. This beer is much like the other bastard, AGRESSIVE! The tatste is very intense, and would be be defined as a "big beer".

cameraman, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of danielharper
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Strong Bros., Fayetteville, TN.

(Transcribed from notes taken on 2/2/06)

A: Dark amber color, thin mocha head. Very foamy.

S: Strong apple and hop aroma, some spices and strong fruitiness.

T: Very strong hop flavor, some fruit and crisp bitter aftertaste, Alcohol very present in flavor, dominates aftertaste. As beer warns, strong maltiness comes to dominate. Alcoholic, almost liquor-like warming feeling.

M: Very thick mouthfeel, low carbonation.

D: Very drinkable given the alcohol and hops.

danielharper, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of mabirch
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whoa! First taste blew me away, although I've always heard great things about this ale. Appearance is a reddish brown color, with a beautifully bubbly head that lasts the whole time. A nice amount of lacing also. The nose is very sweet and the taste is nicely hoppy, although not overly so, with a gorgeous malty aftertaste. It has a heavy feel, very satisfying. An excellent beer, will definately buy again and will most definately recommend to friends.

mabirch, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of shbobdb
1.45/5  rDev -66%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

What a boozy mess! It pours an inviting red; indeed, I was rather excited after the pour. However, the nose was alcohol mixed with hops. I mean, I like alcohol and I like hops, but there ought be malt somewhere in a brew this strong. The taste followed the nose, but rather than merely being unpleasant it was downright offensive. Incredibly hot alcohol followed by numbing hops. Why? The mouthfeel is paper thin, not completely out of place given the rest of the brew, but by no means pleasant.

I was told this brew would turn me around regarding Stone . . . instead, it has done to opposite. If I had to choose between this beer and BMC, I'd say that BMC lite ice wins. Utterly unpleasant, totally unbalanced.

shbobdb, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of SupaCelt
2.5/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This is a 2004 release procured in 2006 from Joseph's in Toledo. Ruby mahogany type colour after pouring. Beige head with some density. Lacing, but of course.

The nose smells half rotted and burnt sugar spritzed. Faint hop florality but covered in sickening sugar tones. I see where cardboard phrasing comes from.

Taste is burried in grainy sugar tones that make me want to vomit. Burnt brown sugar on top of rot. Somewhat alcoholic and maybe bitter, but the sickening sweetness is just too much for me. Horrid. Initially, I tought the age of this brew might have caused this super malted diseased flavour, but now I am not so sure.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy. It approaches chewy at times.

Drinkability is not good. This tastes like dirty feet. This is some nasty, cloying, grit peppered waste. I thought this was the new one. I am overly curious to try one of these in an uncellared fresh state but I am almost affraid to.

SupaCelt, Feb 11, 2006
Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,889 ratings.