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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 Kookiekwan
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Buildscharacter
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of bnuttz
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of lou91
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'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.

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

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.

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Photo of IrishMike
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of kegerator
2.83/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!!!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!!!

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Photo of kbub6f
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of moocey
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Gavage
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

"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.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'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.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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!

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

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.

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Photo of mhowell
3.16/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You know you've got good friends when one brings you a bottle of Double Bastard to go with supper :-)

This brew has an astounding pour - deep brown-red with a very thick, sticky tan head. The head stays around for a long, long time and finally breaks down into lots of lacing on the glass.

The nose is a bit subtle - notes of malt and yeast, very light floral hops notes all of compliment the sweet smell of ethyl alcohol.

The taste, whilst strong, is far from overpowering. Plenty of fruity notes in this brew - apples, plum and (of all things) pineapple. There's a very dough-ish yeast note (perhaps what others would call "biscuity" but it reminds me of nothing more than raw, uncooked bread dough) to compliment a subtle smoky malt flavor and an even more subtle hop finish. Oh, yes, and then there's the alcohol. At 10% ABV there's no hiding the sweet alcohol 'burn' that goes along with every sip. I swear there were times I thought someone had dropped a shot of brandy in my ale.

Mouthfeel was quite pleasant, with rather low carbonation but leaving a reasonably clean palate.

As far as drinkability goes, much depends on your definition. I've always considered this category to answer the question "Would you look forward to drinking this beer again?" and if that's the question, the answer is 'most definitely yes'. If the question is "Would you drink more than one of these in a sitting?" the answer is 'not without needing medical assistance afterward'. Yes, this is a high ABV drink and it is an ass kicking bastard. I am quite impressed but there's no doubt who won this round...

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Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a beautiful, clear, deep amber almost ruby color. It has a large creamy, light tan head that dissipates extremely slow and leaves behind a large amount of lace that clings to the sides of the glass. This is the best looking beer I have ever had.

The aroma is slightly yeasty, with some malt notes and a little bit of floral hop bouquet.

the flavor is wonderful...well balanced, moderately sweet, caramel malts with lots of hops. This one is hoppy but not overpowering, piney, citrusy, almost grapefruit rind flavor. Finishes with a warm alocohol tone.

Lightly carbonated, but good for the style.

One of the best beers I have ever had...absolutely loved this one. Stone continues to be one of my favorite brewers.

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Photo of hobbes2112
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got a hold of this 2004 beer while at home for the holidays in Ohio. I love getting the change up of beer selection!

The beer poured a dark almost ice-tea color with large 2 finger head. The head lasted a long time and there was little to no lacing.

Aroma is pretty much what I expected, lots of pine and citric notes from the hops with further levels of complexity like a woody carmel sweetness. Of course alcohol in there also.

Taste is great, not really what I would expect from something called a barleywine but for sure a level up from the AB strong ale. Tons of hop in this one, nice bitter finish. Rich sweetness like maple syrup and carmel and some spice. The alcohol is somewhat masked but still noticable.

The young version of this that I have is like the AB kicked up a notch. I would really like to age this for a little while. Maybe I will buy one or two to leave at home for that purpose.

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