Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

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2,045 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,045
Hads: 6,367
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 19.25%
Wants: 469
Gots: 1,189 | FT: 39
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
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Reviews: 2,045 | Hads: 6,367
Photo of 99bottles
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured slowly without disturbing the sediment, this beer has a very clear body of deep reddish copper. Very low carbonation, if any. A head of 2 inches rises with a light tan tint, and falls with average retention. Sticky lacing on the inside of the glass.

Smell: This has a really nice smell; there are strong sugar notes that bring to mind brown sugar, carmel and maple candy. Some fruity esters (citric hops?) try to pull through, but can not overcome the cookie like sugar smells.

Taste: There are the Stone trademark hops. In the taste, the hops come to the front and oddly enough, come to the front of the flavor. What remains is a rich and alcoholic taste of plum, brandy, and more of that decadent sugar. Is it actaully unfermented sugar? I doubt it, seeing the amount of sediment left to bottle condition this guy. But, seeing as this is only a few weeks old, perhaps the conditioning has yet to really take hold. This does have memories of the AB ale that is so popular; only it refines all the little qualities that make the little brother so arrogant and at times, unrefined. This is a really complete ale; I can't call it a barleywine with a clear conciense. Instead call it an American masterpiece. Stone's best, by far.

Mouthfeel: For such a sultry ale, this is great by not cloying. Though the carbonation is quite minimal, it works perfectly with the character of the beer. Nicely matched.

Drinkability: I love the subtle tastes, the nicely refined flavor, and the quality of this beer. That being said, I don't think anyone ought to have more than one of these already large 22 ounce bombers. It would be disrespectful to binge such a nice product. I can drink this easily, though quantity remains low due to quality. Take that as you will.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a winterish red with a nice tan head. Very inviting looking. Smells fruity and spicy. Great chocolate and cherry hints in the nose. Now, this beer is one of the best representations of an american barleywine I've had. Very smooth and mellow to start, and then bites you in the back. Ridiculously well rounded. Very sweet and bitter at the same tame. Fabulous. A complete attack on the taste buds, but not in a bad way. This beer will set you straight and put you in your place. It kicks ass without taking names. This is not just a beer, this is the nectar of the gods.

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

2003 Release
Appearance: Deep copper color with thin white head that fades quickly.

Smell: Carmel and malt with a tinge of hops. Definitely smells wonderful.

Taste: Hit first with the malt and carmel flavors. After that the hops come through and stay to leave a bitter aftertaste. Flavors begin to open as beer warms. Not much of an alcohol sting on this one. Very complex beer. One thing I noticed about this beer is that when it is cold it has a very bitter, almost disagreeable aftertaste. When it warms it really smooths out and becomes quite phenominal.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and smooth with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkibility: For a 10% beer this is highly drinkable. The flavors begin to open as the beer warms and it really keeps your interest.

Overall this beer improves upon the already fantastic Arrogant Bastard. A complex enough beer to keep you interested, yet potent at 10% abv.

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Photo of bigchris1313
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: That medium brown but drifting towards red color. Nice off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat sweet, like Arroganst Bastard on drugs.

Taste: Delicious. Definietely sweentness, almost syrup-like sweetness, but minimally offset by a fair amount of hops. Again, like Arrogant Bastard but overcharged. The alcohol is basically undetectable: quite an accomplishment for a 10% brew.

Mouthfeel: This thing is smooth like silk. It just flows into your mouth with a moderate amount of carbonation and somewhat thick.

Drinkability: I'm sure you're wondering why I gave this thing a 4.5 for drinkability when it clocks in at 10% alcohol by volume. Quite simply, it tastes damn good, even if it is strong. Furthermore, you can enjoy it over a long period of time, as it's flavor actually betters as the beer warms. It took me 30 minutes to savor 1 bomber of this stuff. I could qute easily do a few if I had purchased more than 1 case. Because this brew should be consumed so slowly, it will take hours to drink loads of the stuff, but it is definitely quite drinkable none the less.

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

Pours a nice dark red with a tan head that falls and leaves spotty lace looks like a total lack of carbonation except for the head of course. Ahh fruity and malty hell even smells like some vanilla thrown in the mix. Hops also but not as big as I imagined them being mostly grassey smelling but light pine also coming up. Taste lightly like regular bastard that has been hit with malt steroids. This beer is big on malt, fruity sweet chewy caramel malt at that. Hops are present but not as in your face as regular bastard due to addition of extra malt ofcourse. Taste is big and at 10% you would think some alcohol would be present but it is very well hidden underneath the malty flavor. This is not a beer that begs to be sipped, man this stuff is good enough to drink, as long as you do not have to stand up afterwards. Mouthfeel is big chewy find myself smacking my lips after downing a swallow for some reason. Drinkability is great I bought 6 bottles now I have only 5 :( in my opion it is better then Old Guardian this is one hell of a beer a great barley wine love it almost as much as my Bigfoot and looking back should have rated Bigfoot a 5 across the board. I was thinking of cellaring some of this but the hops profile is not that intense and would hate to loose any bitterness so will no doubt drink them all before next year. Hell of a beer get some if you can.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.72/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Decent looking beer. Nothing special. Crystal clear, nice deep red mahogony color. Small but relatively persistant head.

Nose is very nice. Very full. I get some deep caramel and alcohol notes and definately big brashy hops.

Wow. Very big tasting beer. Extremely bitter. Extremely. Like fresh Old Crusty bitter. Leaves my mouth all taught and upset. Some nice malt notes too, caramel most prominently, but really can't hold a candle to the bitterness...really really bitter. And its a harsh bitter too. These ain't no low cohumulone hops. I've heard Stone loves the Chinook and I imagine that's what this is. Maybe I'd celler this for a year or two in an attempt to tame the hops a tad. This is pretty much straight off the truck...arrived I think in Indiana November 1st or so.

With the fairly strong alcohol and ridiculously bitter harsh hops in the finish....its definately not smooth.

Mouthfeel is decent. Thick but not creamy. Definately thicker than thin however.

Not very drinkable. Last year I barely managed to finish a whole bomber. This bitterness is just unreal.

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

What drew me to this beer was its label “Double Bastard”. I read the bottle and thought, who cold make such statements, Stone brewing has proven it does have the right, as I have tasted Arrogant Bastard, Russian Imperial Stout and others. But just the same, very bold statements. Well I fancy myself a judge of beer having homebrewed for 6 years.

Let’s start with this, this beer blew me away; enough so to make it my first ever review.

Appearance: gorgeous a beautiful reddish color with a nice creamy head of amber which quickly dissipates, followed by a decent trail of lace.
Smell: I had some issues with the smell although it was so refreshing it reminded me of a spring rain and fresh grapes. The exact aromas I could not pinpoint, perhaps on a second tasting.
Taste: the taste as with the smell gave me the same but more powerful feeling, I had my first bottle with some French soft cheese and I plan on opening my second bottle of heaven when finished here, and I can assure you I will be buying more tomorrow.
Mouth feel: excellent very mellow near perfect not sure if I should say it but potentially my new favorite beer.
Drinkability: Whoa watch out for this one 10% abv, one and I'm happy two and I'm toast but only because my wife doesn't make dinner, so empty stomach and all sans the French cheese. I am going to have another and then tomorrow purchase six more for another day, more likely six other days.
Overall a great beer which blew my socks off, and now please excuse me as my feet are cold and I'm opening another bottle.

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Photo of bultrey
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001 Vintage.
I received this fine aged bottle of liquid arrogance from EyeChartBrew in a East/West coast beer trade, and what a treat it turned out to be.
Poured into a Bourdeaux-style wine glass. Excellent carbonation and head, with some fine sticky lacing along the side of the glass. Smell is reminiscent of maple, vanilla, soy sauce, and chocolate-covered dark fruits, such as fig and raisin. There was also a bit of a musty basement smell.
The first taste I got was the maple, which was when the beer was slightly chilled. Some dark fruit is there, plums perhaps, and a dusting of cocoa powder. As it warms, some of the soy sauce comes in, much like the Sam Adams triple bock. Only in this beer, it's not overhwelming and sickening; rather, it's delicate and complex. The hops have been tempered by the aging, and the only evidence that they exist is a nice, lingering bittersweet aftertaste. The mouthfeel of this is like a thick, creamy chocolate milk. The alcohol is so well-hidden that I could drink this until I passed out, which wouldn't take long, I'm sure.
Take a couple of these and cellar them. This is a fabulous beer in the current vintage, but it totally transforms upon proper aging. Superb for fans of barleywines, old ales and the like.

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

The color of this beer is almost identical to the color of the bottle it came in; dark but clear brown, seaglass brown if you will, with a nice tan head leaving behind a trail of lace. Smells ripely malty, and of dried sticky fruits and raisins. Taste is insane, in a word. The complexity comes at you in levels, and challenges the drinker as promised by the blurb on the back of the bottle. Out front sweetness is followed by a bitter hoppy kick contrasted with a sturdy malty backbone. Getting a lot of syrupy molases sort of tastes and the contrast of that to the bitterness is fricken great. A fun beer to drink for sure. Super slick smoothness in the mouth. For a beer this big it's surprisingly easy to drink, though it's not a beer to pound by any means... it pounds you. Word.

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Photo of beerceller99
2.82/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. Nov. 2003 bottling. Pours a rust color with an off white head that fades to a smattering of sheen. Smells bready, yeasty, with plums and spicy alcohol. Lightly carbonated with a sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. Has a fruit juice bittersweet caramel flavor with a strong grapefruit hop and alcohol taste to finish.
This brew doesn't cut it as a Barleywine. The Bastard is best quaffed in it's original ( and more drinkable ) formula.
Maybe a couple years of cellaring will help.

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Photo of danadeny
3.06/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 edition. nice brown body and decent head for a 10% beer. Smells very malty and fruity, classic barley wine smell. strong alcohol and roasted malt flavor, not much fruit at all. astringent alcohol aftertaste. mouth feel is decent, but the lack of flavor besides alcohol and malt turns me off.

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

2003 edition. Pours a deep copper color with a fluffy beige head. Molasses-like caramel maltiness and a good backing of west coast hops. Bold flavors roll across the tongue, richly malty, lightly fruity and plenty hoppy, taking on an astringency similar to grapefruit. Hops linger into the finish. Alcohol is noticable, but melds well with the overall experience. Sticky, syrupy mouthfeel, but you'd expect that from a barleywine. Another fine-tuned beer from the Stone Brewery.

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Photo of Skidz
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition obtained from ppoitras in a trade. Part 4 of the 4 part Stone tasting done with my bro. By this point, we we up to our ears in Stone.

Pours out amber brown and sits dark orange-brown in the glass with a nice foamy tan head, leaving a light skim.

Smells malty with brown sugar and a light hint of diactyl. Some light citrus and alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms.

RICH and malty up front. Hops come in the middle with grapefruit and lemon. Sweet, rich, but light, in comparison with the rest of the beer, dark fruits. Loads of barley. Alcohol brings more sweetness and fruity character. It's a ride.

Rediculously smooth and creamy with light carbonation.

A bottle of this a day would keep me happy, two bottles would make a perfect start and end to any day, and this bottle made the perfect end to our tasting.

4 beers averaging a 4.5 rating. Well done.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2003 release. This pours a deep, dark tea color with two fingers of head that fall to a pillowy covering over the beer. What is that I am smelling in this beer. The hop is definately piney and woodsy, but the malt is not something I can place easily. Its sweet, but I don't know like what. It sure smells good. The first flavor is get is an in my face malt sweetness. The flavor is strong start to finish. The hops are piney and spicey and stick with me long after swallowing this beer. Its very good, but not perfect. I'll see how my other bottle does after another year or so. The mouthfeel is nice an thick. I'm not sure what to say about the drinkability. The more I drink of this beer, the easier it is for me to go after it, but it is a lot of a big ass beer. Definately worth a try and I will keep seeing what each release brings me.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle was a 22 oz bomber from 2000. It was not labeled with the year, but it was kept specifically to age it. So this was about 4 years old.

The color is a brownish red cloudy color with a great head. The head thins as expected from a barley wine style beer. The nose is of soy sauce, caramel, molasses, and salt. The flavor is clean and complex with a toasty character. It has caramel and nuts in it and is a bit like a porter.

I drank this beer with some friends who were not as into it as I, so I finished most of the bottle by myself. I had tasted the beer many times before, but aged it is just superb. I enjoyed every last sip of this bottle, so the drinkability has to be a 5.

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Photo of rastaman
2.45/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First of all, i'm really sorry to Greg for not liking this beer. Super sticky and syruppy. Some vanilla, with a heavy grapefruit and pine flavour. This beer is a challenge if their ever was one, especially for a "wussie" like me. A bit too in your face and unbalanced. Once again, really sorry i didn't like this, but thanks to greg from Stone for letting us have a shot at it.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful mahogany color with a perfect, creme-colored head with great retention. Smell is a medium amount of piney hops, some cherry notes, and little else. Flavor is toffee and toast with a wonderful spciy piney hop presence and big caramelization. More cherry esters with some alcohol in good proportion. Mouthfeel is fine but bothersome at the same time. The carbonation and big body come through all right, but with that Stone characteristic plasticized feel. Halfway through drinking this it started to piss me off. I find it tough to describe, but it is just a rounded, dulled malt flavor/feel that I get from the majority of their beers. Perhaps it is the caramelization of the malt. Hop bitterness and flavor keeps this one very drinkable for its size.

Impressively made, but the malt flavor and feel fails to make a good showing. The great hopping makes up for that deficiency to result in a pleasant creation.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled with a tormented tonque at the hophead throwdown...

Who in their right mind would seek to balance such an incredible malt backbone with bitter and arrogant hops. I suppose it's some twisted sense of propriety, humor, and adventure that drives the folks at Stone to craft a dark ruby brew with a mind twisting alcohol aroma, chocolate, and grapefruit aroma. The flavors of the brew shift back and forth between sour citrus, again grapefruit, and malt notes of chocolate and coffee. Its an intense mélange enlivened by an alcohol that lets the flavors take flight. A most excellent and drinkable brew.

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

This was a beautiful mahogony colored, slightly cloudy beer with very little head on it. There is a delicious sweet malty aroma with a prominent alcohol smell, and a hint of vanilla. The taste is also delicious, very malty with lots of balancing bitterness that helps keep it from being overly sweet. Mouthfeel is excellent. Drinkability is also good, but use caution, as it gets warmer it becomes real easy to gulp down. And that's asking for trouble.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 edition in the 22oz bomber. The bigger brother to Arrogant Bastard pours a brown color with reddish highlight and a minimal tan head unless poured very aggressively. The head drops quickly to a bubbly ring leaving a nice lacing around the glass. Quite the strong aroma on this one, with plenty of sweet malts, earthy hops, fruits and a touch of alcohol. This one definitely brings a big taste to the plate with a sweet fruity malt upfront that settles into a bitter hop bite. This one has a similar taste to arrogant bastard but upped several notches and a few more complexities are thrown in. A very complex tasting beer indeed, maybe having a 3 liter at one sitting can help unravel some of these complexities. Mouthfeel is amazing, full and creamy with perfect carbonation. Drinkability is perfect, there is only slight alcohol tastes and scents so that never slows the consumption. This is a near perfect beer in my opinion and I look forward to this years release as this was my last bottle. Highly recommended to all except people new to craft beer because this will knock them on their arse.

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

2003 edition. 22 oz. bomber. 10.0% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep garnet, and with a heavy-handed pour, achieves a large sticky & clumpy yellow head with very good retention and lacing. Bubbles take their time to meander through the sticky deep red and amber liquid. There are little bits of flittering hop debris. Clumps and layers of sticky head remain until the last drop. Aroma...basically a ton of hops and a ton of malts...immediate blast of mango, then piney, resinous hops with hints of turpentine and shellac, caramel, figs and dates...a pretty typical barleywine aroma with a touch of sour green hop leaf. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is wonderfully cloying and oily, smooth as silk (though the flavor isn't), and with a dense, firm syrupy body. Taste echoes the aroma exactly. Lots of upfront mango and lots of raisiny malts. Medium bitterness, actually decently balanced and not too over-the-top, with a sustained bitterness in the semi-woody finish kissed with hop-leaf astringency. Alcoholic esters are predominant in aroma and taste, however they are not obtrusive, and a touch of peppery alcohol bites the tongue towards the end. Nice wave of clover honey and vanilla cap it off before the aftertaste. Cleanly fermented.

A pretty solid effort from Stone. I tend to prefer my barleywines maltier than hoppier. This one is actually somewhat easy to drink (but still a sipper like Batch 6000) and makes a good nightcap. Pleasant buzz, too. Although it has taken me some time to get used to Stone's Brews (at first they were all one-dimensional over-hopped monsters), I am now starting to get more comfortable with what they are, 'specially their pungent IPA (which is my favorite). Recommended, at least to try it. A love it or hate it kinda brew.

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

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1 1/2" of tan head over the clear deeply copper brew. Head is resilient, long-lasting, and laces amazingly, with solid foam being left down the side as the head recedes. Aroma is the solid, sweet scent common to most strong ales, tending towards a bit of fruitiness if one can bypass the obvious alcohol presence. Taste is, as expected sweetly malty, but well contrasted by the strong hops presence, which almost seem to provide a grainy feel to the tongue, they are so strongly present. Mouthfeel is great for the style, and drinkability is good, although I fear eventually the malt sweetness might get a bit tiring. An excellent strong ale.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mmm, mmm! I’ve heard lots of good things about this beer, and I’m very excited to try it. Comes in a beautiful 22oz painted bomber, with the most hilarious label I’ve ever read! See here for more

Pours an outstanding dark red amber. Unfortunately, head retention is little to none. Smell is malty and sweet, damp like a cave. Taste is bitter and yummy. This is a HEAVY beer. Has the grapefruit taste of the regular Arrogant Bastard ale, but I find this particular taste to be complementary and blend smoothly with the other tastes, unlike the regular AB where the grapefruit seems harsh and out of place to me. This beer also has subtle spiciness to it, perhaps even ginger undertones?

A very smooth and drinkable beer, this is highly recommended. Cheers to Stone!

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Photo of kmo1030
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

nice dark ruby brown in color with a tan head that laces the glass. piney floral sweet hops dominate the smell. very fruity too, i pick out cherry, raspberry, and apple aromas along with brown sugar. a little bready and a little bit of a coffee aroma too, but it's buried in there. as far as the taste goes, this is what beer should be. big piney, grapefruity hops. additional citrus flavors are present along with rich caramel and some chocolate malts, especially toward the end and aftertaste. some thing reminiscent of peanut butter in the after taste as well. there is some nice fruit character in there too with a cherry raspberry flavor dominating there. the spicy alcohol is apparent some of the time, but i've always liked a little of that in my beer, so it only adds in my opinion. full bodied and well carbonated, perfectly complmenting the huge flavor. an exceptional beer from an exceptional brewery. if big beers are your thing this is a must try, cause it's humongous.

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Photo of sponberg
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three pints and two bottles later, I've finally figured this one out.

Deep amber with a head that dissipates rather quickly. Hoppy sweet aroma - it smells like it wants to stick to your nose. Big time malty sweetness.

I prefer this one 5 to 1 in bottle over the draft version. On tap it's almost sticky, cloyingly sweet, with a caramelly malt sweetness that's palpable and a distant citric hoppiness. It's missing its balance somewhere. In bottle it all smooths out - caramel malty sweetness in a big way, but the balance between the malt and the hops is far better, with a lot of drying alcohol and darker, spicier malts to balance things out. The finish - a fine balance between caramel apple sweetness and citric PacNW hoppiness split by alcoholic fumes - simply rocks. 10% and I'm looking around the house to find another somewhere. What's that? A Stone IPA? That'll work...

Get a bottle. Toss its ass in the back of the fridge for 6 months. Pop it and enjoy - one of the finer 10% ales in existence when the situation's right.

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Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,045 ratings.