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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,054 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,054
Hads: 6,416
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 19.25%
Wants: 477
Gots: 1,237 | FT: 38
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,054 | Hads: 6,416
Photo of Bcant
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Edition

22oz brown bomber bottle.
I once had a pair of oxblood Doc Martins, this beer is the color my shoes should have been. Excellent deep red-brown with a cream head. Once I drank it down a bit I gave it a good swirl and it were a scotch you’d say it had long legs. Understated bouquet of mild potpourri. All modesty is thrown out the window with the first sip. Starts with a caramel/condensed sweetness followed by aggressive piney hops with coconut notes. Finishes deep and long, retuning to the creaminess reveled first. Defiantly a good brew to let get warm, as different temps reveal additional dimensions to the flavor. Very soft and viscous; easily palatable yet with strong character. Remarkable un-alcoholic in the mouth (your head feels it) and refreshing without being overly moist.

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Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for this...
Appears a dark amber with an ivory white head. Spotty lacing is left on the glass .
Smell is of tons of malt, hops, along with some oaky vanilla going on.
Taste is of the same aromas. Very nice and hard to put into words. All I know is that I like it.
Mouthfeel is super smooth with a sweetness that comes through.
This is awesome but some abv is evident and you'll be able to tell.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.35/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

'04 version.

Appearance is ok. Pours a beautiful mahogany with no head after a minute. Smell is a little underwhelming. Maple syrup, some citrus fruit, and pine needles are all there in small quantities, but the alcohol makes a bit too much of an appearance in my opinion. It's also got an unpleasant oxidized smell. Taste is interesting, but not up to some of the better barleywines I've had. Everything in the smell makes an appearance, though I can't taste the wet paper oxidized smell at least. Here I can say that if the alcohol was not so apparent, this would be a great beer. Malt and hops are very well balanced. There is a nice piney aftertaste and a nice deep sweet fruity taste. But after that the alcohol overwhelms you, and the aftertaste leaves you thinking you just took a tiny shot of some cheap rum. The mouthfeel is nice, very smooth and medium bodied for a barleywine. Drinkability suffers due to the alcohol, but still isn't bad. Just doesn't have enough flavor to mask the alcohol in my opinion. This is exactly why I recently changed my favorite style from American Barleywine. There's so much better beer out there.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 release. Amberbrown beer with a thick and everlasting head. Great nose giving lots of Hops, roast, chocolate, almond and citrussy freshness. Wonderfully "fuelled", bitter and candied beer. Great malts bathing in chocolate with it and a enormous bitter and roastyness follow and stay in aftertaste together with the burning alcohol. Yes this is a great beer and has mouthfeel like used up motoroil; creamy and burnt but still somehow fresh. Great beer that I'd love to see again.

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Photo of waldowin
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Release

Pours a dark, dark ruby, with a large white head that slooowly fades to just a thin veil. Very murky depths, almost loch ness monster territory.

Smells *very* strongly of malts, and some oak, with a hop tang.

Tastes about as malty of a barleywine as I've had. Light and dark malts blend at the tip of your tongue, giving way to a wave of hops halfway through (not as strong as I expected from Stone though, aging probably didn't help this), and a nip of pure alcohol at the end. Raisins and dates up front, bananas and cloves following, cashews and almonds just behind, and finally all pushed away by grapefruit, cedar, and smoked wood. Fairly complex, and very tasty. The ABV is apparent, however. I've had slightly stronger barleywines that are less astringent to the throat.

Mouthfeel is thin up front, almost watery, but turns absolutely massive at the roof of your mouth. This beer has a lot of body, but the high alcohol weakens it a bit at the start and finish of each swallow. The finish is fairly astringent, as the ABV makes itself known.

In spite of the mild ABV dryness at the end of the swallow, this beer is extremely drinkable, especially for a barleywine. Watch yourself, the 10% ABV packs a wallop. It was a trial for me to allow this beer to warm up before finishing it.

And as it warms, the hops *really* come out of the woodwork. Insanely intense grapefruits, cedars, and citrus. Just wonderful. I've had double-IPA's with less hops than this.

Many thanks to Beerhandy for this awesome brew.

Deep, murky, blood-red,
The Loch Ness has no more silt,
With a crown of white.

A bit of honey,
Untold pounds of malt and grain,
And some grapefruit smell.

Rich with its sweetness,
Puckering with its tartness,
It punches the brain.

Its easy entry,
Grows thick as it hits the tongue.
Vodka bites your throat.

Slides into the mouth,
Drags claws into the palate,
And pulls itself down.

As I sip, I fear
That perhaps, more man than I
Is this angry beer.

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Photo of Derek
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This had a little more sherry flavour, but seemed just as smooth, if not smoother, than its little brother: the Arrogant Bastard! It is quite bold, but not at all harsh.

A: Dark caramel, with an off-white head. Some retention, with nice lacing.

S: Sherry & pine, with malty goodness.

T: Initially slightly sweet, with sherry, chocolate and fruity caramel flavours. Some warming pine in the middle. Slightly bitter in the finish... but VERY smooth.

M: Full syrupy body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation.

D: Truly is exceptional for a beer of this strength. (Though some may not like the Chinook hops).

Thanks Kevin!

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004 bomber obtained from Vintage Cellar.

Wow! This is much different than I remembered it. Much darker with less of a citric taste, and more of a bitter, raisin/fig barleywine taste than I recall. The beer I remember was much more drinkable, but of course this was just after previously splitting a bottle of Stone Russian Imperial Stout with mentor and Woody (the owner of the local beer joint, The Sanctuary). Not to say I don't think it is just as mindblowing of a beer, but it really goes to show how the time & place affect the experience so much.

...Anyways, on to the review of the beer in front of me. This is a very deep maroon color with a bit of a red haze and a decent carbonation that forms a weak white head. Looks great, and just how I'd expect my barleywine to look.

The smell is very fruity and malty, and the hops are plentiful enough to sense the bitterness through the nostrils. Quite intense. I almost can't quit huffing it, but alas, I'm so parched that I need to take another drink.

The taste is of dark fruits and an assload of hoppy bitterness. A bit of a malty and/or yeasty earthy flavor in the initial taste. This bastard is killing my tongue! There's no way I'd be able to review another beer after this, but just for the hell of it, I'm going to see how an Alpha King will follow this up; of course, if I'm still able to drink after this beast..!

The mouthfeel is intensely bitter with a heavy, but not chewy, mouthfeel. The alcohol is definitely there, and leaves an intensely dry finish. This is definitely a sipper, but a damn good one.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby amber. Three fingers of pale tan foam hold extremely well, leaving moderate lace. The smell is mostly roasted malt and dark fruits, with traces of noble hops. The alcoholic aroma becomes pungent as it warms above serving temp. The text written on the back of the bottle helps to prepare you for the punch in the mouth you are about to receive. Taste is a well balanced blend of very sweet burnt malt, fruit esters, and molasses upfront, followed by an eruption of bitter hops and alcohol washing over. Aside from being strong, the mouthfeel is syrupy, with a residual bittersweet aftertaste; one would expect a dryer finish given all the hops, no? If you can finish the entire bomber, you will feel a slight alcohol warmth. Overall, a quality beer that delivers what the marketing promises. However, the Barleywine style is one that should offer the drinker rich sensations of smell, taste, mouthfeel and inebriation; not just try to kick your ass.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Okay, after 250+ reviews, I still might not able to handle Barley Wines like their meant to be enjoyed. Appearance is fantastic, 1/4 inch head with great carbonation and solid lacing. The smell alone stopped by wife and dad from even trying it, which is a good thing in my book. Nice malty sweetness followed by strong alcohol. Settles on the stomach and not real easy to finish a 22 oz bottle. As time goes by, I'll enjoy this style more and more.

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Photo of robertp1024
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double Bastard, the name fits the beer. This came from an emormous bottle. I believe 3L. With 2 hands, it poured a burnt copper color with decent head. The sccent comes out strong as it pours. DAMN. At first, hops, then hops. The hops were piney and strong. The malts were sweet. Nothing about this barleywine is subtle. The taste is a butt kicker. You can taste so much going on here, plus the alcohol. Dark fruits, like plum, maybe cherries as well as choclate. Don't drink the whole 3L bottle, unless you want to be the bastard. Great beer, great taste, excellent finish.

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

750 ml bottle. 2004 edition, sampled 7/30/2005.

Pours a slightly cloudy burnished copper with medium-sized light tan head and mild lace. Smells sticky sweet; piney, spicy, and full of hops even somewhat aged. Tastes pretty syrupy initially. Lots of caramel malts build into piney hops before drying to a slightly astringent, very spicy, and elegantly vinous woody finish. Thick and sugary in the mouth, with prickly carbonation and big warming alcohol on a rich base.

A bit sticky and overwhelming at the first sip, but finishes quite well and mellows very nicely as it ages. An excellent hop-forward barley wine.

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Photo of ikats
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Double Bastard is dark brown with some ruby highlights. The head is tan and thick, and it dissipates slowly.

Aroma: Sweet and fruity. Malts take control here.

Flavor: Earthy and woody. Spices play on your tongue and the ale feels a little burnt.

Taste: The moment you take a sip, hops hit you. They fill every corner of your mouth sticking around while malt sweetness slowly goes down your throat. And then the warmth of this strong brew hits you from within. This ale "is not to be wasted on the weak." It is quite powerful and flavorful. Feels like malts and hops are competing for your attention.

I think Double Bastard falls into "love it or hate it" category. I love it. This was my choice last time I went camping. All this power goes down smooth in the woods. The best part is once you are done you feel “worthy.”

Tasted from a 22 oz. bomber. 2004 release.

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Photo of sagito327
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honestly, without question the best beer I've ever tasted, and I can find not a single flaw. Bought a pint sized bottle from Marty's liquors on Harvard ave. Pours a brown color with a beautiful white head that retains throughout. Lacing is perfect. Smells of fruit, pineapple maybe? Taste is perfection at its most perfectionist. Fruit, hops, and others which my palate cannot pick out. The entire palate tingles. I could drink these all day, or until I passed out.

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Photo of palliko
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a luminescent copper that sports a thick white head of foam that sticks around all the way. Aroma has pine, fruit, and massive hops. Initial taste reels from the ethanol vapors, floral/citrus hops, SWEET malt, moves on to brown sugar, tropical fruits, dark chocolate, and finishes with dry bittersweet chocolate, dough, and leaves a clean palate. Gets more complex as the beer warms. Another winner from Stone.

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

Presentation - c.2004 vintage bomber

I am now all but convinced that Stone produces, as a stable, the most beautiful beers of anyone. Saved this bomber for a quiet Saturday evening. The color is just incredible - a beautiful, warm, deep ruby ruddy-amber hue with a sharp, crystalike clarity, all under a tight 1" head of blanched almond foam that laced subtly as I drank.

The nose was more interesting than Arrogant Bastard, with noticable fruit tones (dried currants or cherries) over a soft malt base. Echoes of peat and oak (reminiscent of the Oaked version) were present as well.

Its warming on the tongue, but a slow warming at first that builds to a full mouth warming by the throat. The nose qualities carry over to the tongue as the same fruit, peat, malt & oak aromas translate to pleasing tastes that work well together, but not over the top. Its balanced and smooth, with all players knowing their part and playing it well, in support of each other. A mild honey sweetness plays off the mildly bitter hops and oak, all joining with a creamy quality on the pallete.

The finish - yowza! The hops do their best to fight off the alcohol, but I must admit that their were some brief cobwebs after each early swallow. It definitely packs a sensory wallop on the throat. However, the aftertaste is slightly filmy, (which I do not care for with the chalky Arrogant Bastard) and bittersweet but not bad, nice actually.

Aside the from fact that I can't imagine sessioning this, it was enjoyable and, IMHO, better than Arrogant Bastard. If you have the opportunity and the time, definitely try this.

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Photo of Opethsprite
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A cheeky little passage on the bottle warns that "this is one lacerative muther of a beer." Furthermore, I'm sure many of the BAs will cheer loudly at the section in this rant which jabs intently at macro swill. I was expecting something pretty brutal (Yeti, anyone?), but was surprised to find a timid little pup of a beer. NOT to say that it wasn't good, by any means, just...different from what I was expecting.

It poured a deep, reddish brown with a thick, cream-colored head. It smelled of fruit, notably pear and grape, with strands of sweet but faint chocolate. To taste, Double Bastard presented the PERFECT balance of hops and malts. Finishes with a sweet, delicate chocolate. Nothing this lovely can honesty be called Double Bastard. The alcohol content was hidden well...a dangerous thing if you're a lush like me.

"Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard Shall Set You Free."

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No doubt a seriously big beer. Not for the timid. Even for American Barleywine lovers, this beer packs a punch.

Has the look of thickness, viscocity, and ultimate maltiness. Pours an array of colors: brown, copper red, burgundy, maroons.... it goes on. Has a thick dense tan head that lingers as long as you want.

Aromas are intense mariage of complex malt, complex hops, and complex alcohol. Deep maltiness, grassy-hoppy, and a grainy twang also present deep into the nose An organic scent that adds complexity to the grain, hop and yeast content.

Malts portray flavors of caramel, brown sugar and molassas. Malts also bring out fruits of figs, dates, and a little in the way of prunes and raisons. Hop complex is highly pronounced from nose to finish. Earhty and grassy like IPA's but more complex and flavor infused. Alcoholic flavors also present throughout.

Mouthfeel is creamy, heavy, and rich; yet disected cleanly by hop bittering. Rather a crisp finish to a high gravity beer.

Aftertaste lingers indefinately with complex malt sweetness and hop bittering. Dark fruits continue to abound.

Impression: A great beer for that mood that hits you every couple months. Not an everyday beer for me. When you need this beer, none other will suffice. It's what Arogant Bastard wants to be when it grows up.

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

2004: Mostly clear, deep red with orangish highlights. Thick, dense, off-white head that showed very good retention and lacing. Big, balanced aroma profile combining rich maltiness with fresh citrus and piney hops. Again, the flavour was a wonderful balance strong, caramel maltiness and aggressive hop bitterness and flavour. There's also a very light fruitiness present. Complex finish, dry and long with plenty of bitterness, alcohol warmth and pine resin flavours. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a smooth, creamy texture. This is an awesome beer, surprisingly well balanced and drinkable considering the huge flavours and high abv.

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Photo of TPSReports
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22oz bottle into a large goblet. It was served at 48 degrees.

A slight head formed, but quickly disappeared. No lacing.

The aroma has fruity and spicy with a nice hoppiness.

The first sip for firey and hoppy. The hoppiness seemed to disipate as the beer warmed slightly and my taste buds adjusted. To be fair, I am not a big fan of hoppy beers, but wanted to give this one a shot regardless.

The mouthfeel is clean and refreshing -- with a carbonated feeling.

I will be challenged to finish this bottle, but I am always up to a challenge.


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Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper/orange color with a thick cream colored head. It has a great grapefruit rind hop punch up front along with a complex malt profile. Fig, dates, toffee, bourbon and vanilla all come at you in waves. The taste has the same wealth of layers. The bourbon character is more pronounced, the vanilla mellows it nicely, and the sweetness of fig and date is almost hidden. It has a pronounced alcohol warmth, a rich and smooth mouth feel. Very drinkable, very good.

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

Pours a clear orange/brown, with very nice looking head, and a lot of lacing. The smell is HOPS, but a very fresh hop smell, floral citrus, very little alcohol can be detected in the nose. The taste is a dense malty backbone balanced perfectly with hops. This is the most perfectly balanced beer I've ever had. You know theres a shitload of malt and a shitload of hops, but neither of them have the advantage. Insanely full mouthfeel, and just an excellent ale. Thanks a lot DrJay!

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

Pours a ruby infused deep brown with a beige, coating, sticky head that refuses to die. What can I say about the magnificent aroma? Sweet caramel malts mingling with bittersweet chocolate; bready, somewhat biscuity malt profile; very sweet overall with a raisiny brandy like alcohol quality. No disappointment in the flavor whatsoever. Citric hops that aren't very evident in the nose hit you first, melding into soft sweet malts. Lots of sweetness: sugary and buttery caramel, raisiny and somewhat nutty. Finishes with a sweet, warming alcohol kick. Mouthfeel is very thick and smooth, slightly oily. An agressive beer in both flavor an ABV. Seems to be much along the lines of an old ale or stock ale. Very warming and pretty drinkable at a slow pace. What I call a good reading beer.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally broke down and gots me one. 2004 release seems to have aged nicely at almost the half way point of 2005. I gave AB very good reviews so I was a bit skeptical when trying a "cousin" so to speak. 22oz. bomber.

Pours a wonderfully devilish red. Very intense head carbonation that quickly dissipated leaving a thin top lacing.

Huge fruit tastes, nicely balanced, acidic followed by sweet- grapes to apples if you will. Like all good beers the emanations are a precursor to what it tastes like (or should taste like). All the superlatives from above but add a serious alcohol kick, warming, buzzy, won't allow you to type correctly.

A wonderful offering from Stone....again. Very nice, I think I might punish myself one night and have two of these bad boys.

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Photo of karst
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh 750ml bomber - no freshness dates.
Deep redish copper with light tanish creamy head with good retention and some lace.

Fruit aroma well blended alcohol, malt and pine hops.

Extremely sweet taste follows fullbody. Complex flavor (improving as it warms
) of caramel, burnt sugar, chocolate, pineapple, deep penetrating alcohol, citrus and pine. Dry finish with burnt aftertaste overcomming the sweetness.

Very drinakble for a 10% abv, consider it a barleywine, drink safely.

Thanks Joe hope you enjoyed the Hop Rod I brought over on brew day "here is to us" and the doomesday brew machine that we constructed.

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Had this in a 3L bomber, quite an intimidating bottle. Pours a hazy orangish/brown with a big ol' creamy head. The aroma is incredibaly sweet, tons of malt with a nice hop profile. The taste really knocks your socks off. Malt galore, almost syrupy sweet. Bready and yeasty, plums, raisins all come through. The hops kick in, but aren't overpowering. This is one of the only barleywines I've had that really showcase malts more than hops. Very different. Can't say the drinkability is great, I wanted more, but it really kicked my ass.

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Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,054 ratings.