Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

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2,038 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,038
Hads: 6,339
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 454
Gots: 1,167 | FT: 41
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: 2,038 | Hads: 6,339
Photo of Vierenner
3/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured / looked / tasted ordinary. I feel like I can purchase a beer of this quality at a far cheaper price. Poured a lighter color and more cloudy than I expected. It also seems like the hops overpower other flavors which might be present in the beer. (252 characters)

Photo of saburky
3/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(I had this one at room temperature)
Appearance - Dark amber in color similar to maple syrup. Moderately good lacing as it is consumed.
Smell - As with Arrogant Bastard ale and with a few other American ales I have tried, I immediately smell the hops. I can also smell a little malt.
Taste - I can most certainly taste the hops. No other flavors hit my palate.
Mouthfeel - Slightly carbonated and it's somewhat creamy.
Overall - I give this one a 3. Looks a little better than it tastes but then again, I'm not a big fan of hoppy American ales. (544 characters)

Photo of nc41
3.03/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz Bomber. Pours nice, dark copper colored, very nice initial head .Surprisingly the first impression on the tongue is sweet, caramel. Too sweet IMO. Very decent hop presence,but over all the tilt toward sweet IMO is just a little much for me. I was expecting to be blown away and I wasn't, Oaked Arrogant Bastard is a better brew. Arrogant Bastard is a better brew. Worth a try by all means, but not my favorite from Stone. (427 characters)

Photo of veech
3.05/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer just seemed an example of trying to do too much. The appearance and smell both seemed to bode well, with a very complex array of scents and aromas, everything from grasslike hints to a spicy cinnamon. I found the taste to be sort of all over the place. It was very obtuse with a very strong alcohol feel throughout. The hops seemed to work in opposition to the early maltiness and the alcohol burn was another confounding factor with the spices seemingly out of kilter as well. It wasn't terrible, just not particularly pleasing. The mouthfeel was nice but not really noteworthy as well. I found that the whole beer could be summed up in one word: unbalanced. I was surprised considering the amount of hype surrounding this brew. (739 characters)

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. (296 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.08/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2007 Release, poured from a bomber into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Double Bastard is clear dark ruby with a small but thick, olive tinged off-white head.

Smell is mainly a big punch of citrus hops, pineapple and grapefruit, although a rich sweet malt background lets you know that you're not dealing with another big IPA. Since I've been drinking winter warmers lately, it reminds me of a super hoppy one of those, with noticeably more alcohol. I'd rather more balance from the malt, the hops make it rather one dimensional.

Taste is also super hoppy, with a hugely bitter, dry, clean booze finish. There is some sweet, gingerbread like malt lying behind all the hops and fusels, but it's probably too fresh for my taste right now. The aftertaste just won't stop, super astringent and boozy.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, not much carbonation.

Drinkability is on the lower side. This one pretty much burns with every swallow. Sure it softens some as it warms, but it also gains viscosity. Frankly, I'd normally lower pretty much every category, except for the fact that it's so fresh, and I assume it's better with age. There's also maybe some high score bias, as much as I try to avoid that, I can't ignore the hype behind this one, which I'm not really liking. I love robust american barelywines, but this one's just harsh, and I'm a fan of extreme beer. Time will tell if they're arrogant or just fooling themselves. (1,430 characters)

Photo of bnes09
3.13/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light ruby color and transparent. Big head for the style recedes pretty quickly but maintains a solid layer of foam over the liquid. Lacing sticks in lines and blotches on the glass.

Complex malty aroma with burnt molasses, caramel, dates and hints of tropical fruits. Tough to tell if the tropical, citric aromas are coming from the malt or the hops. Aggressive pine aroma as well. Smells like an American barleywine or malt forward DIPA like 90 minute IPA.

Some of the fruit flavors come through with mild dates but is overpowered by lemon rind, raw radishes, dish detergent and ultra tart and bitter grapefruit. Caramel is there but weak. Hops are intense and linger into the aftertaste with an odd tartness that overwhelms the palate and only intensifies in the first twenty seconds after each sip. One thing I can say is that I can't taste any alcohol although alcohol flavor may be more pleasant.

Full-bodied and somewhat sticky. Good carbonation though short-lived. Finish is super dry with a rough texture.

I love arrogant bastard but they went overboard on this one. There's no balance. It would be different if the hops actually tasted good. Am I alone in thinking that grapefruit and soap do not taste good? Not sure what they were thinking. Has a few things going for it that prevent me from pouring it down the drain. Won't be rechallenging this one. It has complexity but without balance you're left with a mediocre beer at best. (1,447 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 vintage

A - pours a cloudy and ominous brownish red. It has a creepy reminiscence to blood. Small tannish head that quickly turns to just a ring around the rim.

S - the strong aromas assault the nose. Fusel alcohol and medicinal cherry are at the forefront. Notes of toffee and nuts show off the powerful malt character. Lots of resiny hop character round out the nose.

T - lots of sweetness on the front end. Caramel, toffee, and white sugar. The middle is full of biting bitter citrus peel and sweet cherry fruit. Finish is reminiscent of sugar coat grapefruit.

M - full bodied. Rather viscous and heavy on the palate even with the high and bubbly carbonation.

O - way too sweet and boozy for me at this point. I did tuck two other bottles away and hopefully my opinion of this ale will change as it changes with time. (830 characters)

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. (488 characters)

Photo of KFaulkner
3.16/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I love Arrogant Bastard because I feel like it's the perfect balance of old school, hair-on-your-chest brewing, plus enough warming alcohol to give you a kick in the pants. In fact, it's one of my all-time favorites.

But I feel like Double Bastard is just that same beer on steroids... stronger, but with shrunken testicles. (325 characters)

Photo of RobertColianni
3.17/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Brownish-red. A more amber body than the mahogany Arrogant Bastard. Far less carbonation. A khaki head that disappears much quicker. Not as sexy as A.B.

S: Slight hop scent. A little bubble gum. Sweet.

T: Heavy on the alcohol. Dry, alcoholic finish. That's about it.

M: Dry, smoothe, dry. A nice tingle on the tongue. Bitter.

OVERALL: Oh, don't get me wrong. This beer is good, but it's nothing new and it's nothing that keeps me interested in discovering more about the flavor. It's like a heavy scotch. Dry, has bite, and get me drunk without tasting bad at all. I wouldn't write home about it, but I'd get it again just to get hammered.

NOTE: Live review. (I would like to revisit this beer in the near future) (721 characters)

Photo of Mr_Brewski
3.18/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer was totally different from any beer I have ever tasted. It kind of kicked my ass. Very strong alcohol taste. Burned going down like a shot of whiskey. It was good, but not what I'm looking for in a beer. I can see how some other people might like it , but it's not for me. (282 characters)

Photo of Indybeer
3.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber. Poured a deep copper with a fairly decent head that stuck around, leaving some lacing behind. Aroma is very malty with plenty of hops. Taste is well.... some people can find malt in there, well all I taste is hops, hops and more hops. Mouthfeel starts out smooth and mildly sweet, then what rears it's mightly head? hops, hops, and more hops! To me this is just another IPA, more than a Strong/old ale. A true hop lovers dream. But for me it is just overpoweringly bitter. (480 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.21/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage. Bottled on 9/14/13. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy copper with a fluffy off-white head that fades and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are loaded with sweet caramel malts. Lots of orange zest. Lots of lemon. The flavors are extremely bold. Tons of caramel with hints of toffee. There's a nice amount of citrus. It's pretty boozy. Lots of pine resin. The malts and hops are definitely battling eachother for supremacy. It's pretty spicy. It finishes hot. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's full-bodied with active carbonation. Very smooth and creamy. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. This is a quintessential sipper.

This beer is named appropriately. I've had it before, but never this fresh. It's a hardcore brew. It's ultimately just a huge beer. There's too many alcohol notes for my taste. It's still fun to drink. I will say it starts off rough around the edges, but it comes together the more you drink it. It's well crafted though, just like all of Stone's beers. I absolutely understand the appeal. This beer is a good one to throw in the cellar. I might re-review this one with an aged bottle in the future. (1,155 characters)

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
3.21/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I've really enjoyed everything I've had by Stone--a lot--except for this beer, which I've now had once several months aged, and once very fresh. I will give it credit for being a unique experience, and certainly an arrogant one (even doubly arrogant), but it's a bit like drinking watered-down caramel syrup mixed with Robitussin and ethyl alcohol. I finished it, and certainly preferred the fresh version, but it was more a chore and duty than a real pleasure. I've had bigger beers, even a couple much bigger beers, and I found them easier to drink and tastier than this one. I've also had Stone's IRS, Old Guardian, Ruin 10, which are similar, at least, in terms of their size; and enjoyed them all vastly more. Indeed, one or two of them are among my very favorites. But this one's just a little too much (of syrupy medicinal malts) for me. (851 characters)

Photo of applky
3.21/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2008 vintage, standard 22oz bomber.

I wish I could bring myself to like this beer, but I can't. The alcohol muddles all of the fruit flavors, and the hops are way out of control (out of control not in a hop-bomb kind of way, but in a sickly sweet alpha acid juice kind of way). Way too young to drink. Definitely needs some age on it. Could be a great beer in the future, but right now I'm not a fan. (401 characters)

Photo of psuKinger
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 Release, 22 ounce bomber. I've had my Double Bastard glasses for almost 6 months now. This is the first time I've had a chance to pour Double Bastard into one of them. Kinda cool, in a very beer-geeky way.

A: Pours a hazy murky brown color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly.

S: A lot more caramel malt and bisquit sweetness than I remember... Hops seem, dare I say, lacking? How old is this? I thought DB's release was fairly recent... [edit: the website says the release date was Oct 17, making this beer about 1.5 months old)

T: Well, there's certainly more hops on the palatte than in the nose. But a lack of grapefruit/citrus here. Very earthy/piney, and the malt backbone is BIG. Alcohol is not hidden, either.

The first thing I notice is pinecone, which I find unusual because that's usually near the end of the flavor, from my experiences. THe malt backbone then walks in and really takes over. This beer finishes with a strong twinge of alcohol and some hop-bitterness on the finish. The caramel malt is the most dominant of the flavors.

M: Hefty and frothy, this beer "creams up" in the mouth in a way I usually expect a good belgian to. Odd, but not displeasing. Alcohol-burn is certainly present. Carbonation seems low.

D/O: Stone is my favorite brewery, but I gotta be honest: this was kinda disappointing. Too much malt, too sweet and too boozy... I'm not saying I'll never try it again, but I am saying I'm not really looking forward to cracking the other bottle I have in my fridge any time soon. (1,535 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

ok, here i go, ton of hype for this beer as with most of Stones Limited Releases, ....

A - ruby reddish brownish conglomerate with a thin tan head that disspates rapidly, scant slow carbonation snakes its way up the glass

S - aroma packs an alcoholic punch, big alocohl and grapefruit aromas, sweet subtlety to it as well, but mostly just alcohol

T - hmmm, kinda leaves me hanging, nice flavor, but the only strength is again in the alcohol, slight grapefruittiness, a nice flavor and brew, but this was hyped a little much for me, but still a quality brew, and it did get better as it warmed up

M&D - light bodied and a little big on the alcohol, which will draw from the drinkability, but a decent brew, was just expecting a bit more flavor

i may have to grab another bottle to age, i heard its better that way (827 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3.26/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage.
Looks good. solid cap at first, leaves lacing, there is just a bit of hazy action, cinnamon amber color.
Aroma is pleasent but not a standout, there is caramel and cherry notes but they seem rather diminished. I swirled the glass and tried pouring a bit more in pretty vigerous, and got some more Citrus hints, but they fought to stay hidden.
The hops come through alot more in the flavors, and citrus is most prominant, but this is in no way a bitter beer, there is to much sweet brown sugar and caramel going on over the top of the citrus. The cherry notes are still here, pokes out everywhere they gets the chance it seems. Kinda syrupy.

I like this beer, but it's not something i wait eagerly for, or pick up often. (734 characters)

Photo of SaltyLime
3.27/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - nice amber with a thick head in the beginning

Smell - I like the strong hop aromas, but could quickly tell this was going to be more hoppy for my taste

Taste - come on now, how about a little more balance?

Mouthfeel - piercing

Drinkability - personally, I would not get this one again, will keep some in the cooler for friends who like the style and quality, but, give me more malt (398 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.28/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Merci Psychprof! Clear copper hue over which lies an off-white head. Aroma is very harsh on alcohol surprisingly so. It took me a while to get over those vapors and get to studying the rest which had a big caramelic malt profile and a fruitiness approaching orange or watermelon. There's also an earthy/peaty aspect in there, but of course, besides alcohol, the bold hops dominate. In mouth, there's evidently intense hoppy grapefruit juice, caramel, crystal malt and still a moderate alcohol taste. Finish is huge, monstruously bitter, mouth-grabbing, memorable for a while. Mouthfeel is rather thick, closing onto syrup. Definitely worth a try to experiment it, but masochism as they say, is to be consumed in moderate amount. Not quite my bag, give me an Old Numbskull or HOTD Fred if I want a hoppy barley wine. I'll never brush my teeths again. (849 characters)

Photo of TMB0424
3.29/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber. 2008 version

Pours a deep, rich-looking mahogany brown body. Hazy. Off-white, foamy head slowly fades with nice lacing. Good looking

Smells up front of alcohol and hops. Pine. Little bit of malt in there as well.

First thing that hits my palate is the alcohol, very aggressive. Hint of caramel malt, splash of citrus, followed by the hops. Spicy as well, probably due to the alcohol content. It's certainly warming, and the alcohol isn't THAT overwhelming, but it's definitely dominant on my palate right now. Oddly enough, the mouthfeel is a little watery. Just a little.

It's not undrinkable by any means, but it's not one of the more drinkable strong ales out there.

Overall, I have to admit I was disappointed. Aside from the appearance, which I felt was superb. Stone has such a great line of brews and I feel that this is towards the bottom. It's not bad, by any means at all... it's just (in my experiences) I feel the Arrogant Bastard is a better strong ale, as well as the past Double Bastards. However, it is an enjoyable brew and due to it's alcohol content, it has a welcome warming during these cold nights. (1,141 characters)

Photo of HoppyHomo
3.29/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the local shoprite which has recently opened up a liquor department. Not sure how long this has been sitting on the shelf:

It has a nice smooth red copper appearance with a non-heady pour. I was expecting this to be a way too strong IPA, but its not and i was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes the high alcohol content makes me feel like I'm drinking vodka and not a beer. But i felt this was just right. And while this may not be the best IPA I've had this year, month or week; its certainly not that bad. (524 characters)

Photo of JMD71
3.3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled & reviewed on 2/24/07:

Ap: Medium pour brings 1/2 finger of tannish head. Head persists nicely. Nice rust/dark copper color. Slightly cloudy. Medium carbonation.

Ar: Fruits hit the nose initially followed by sweet malt & then hints of alcohol. Slight notes of citrus & tangerines.

Ta: Very sweet up front followed by a boozy blast of alcohol. Wow, this is strong! ABV very evident, not well disguised. Very heavy on the bittering hops. Comes off a bit astringent IMO.

Mo: Full bodied. Chewy. Very medicinal & astringent. Bitterness leaves cloying sensation which persists for some time. Not sure about this one...

Dr: Low-medium. ABV way to noticeable & in-your-face. Could have taken better steps to to layer the high ABV with a better malt profile & less bittering hops.

Comments: Can't say I loved this. I've had some high ABV barywines, but whis was way too over the top. The bitterness was too overpowering & the sweet malt entrance too heavy. Extreme does not always result in a well balanced beer. This is definitely the case here IMHO. (1,069 characters)

Photo of lifeboyq
3.3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 release Double bastard - First let me say this beer is an entirely different beer aged. We all know hops seem to fade noticeably quarterly, but after a horrible first tasting in 2005, I persevered giving it more time. Without age, it's entirely too bitter as it's over hopped with high alpha hops without any balance making it very cloying. I don't understand hop heads and I never will, but perhaps over an aged argument, I'll listen but still disagree. This beer is insanely over hyped and overall an average beer at best without the patience of Job. After 2 years, its still slightly bitter, but a very balanced beer, somewhat similar to a slightly bitter but refined raison de extra. It's beginning to be good, beginning to be very good, but needs still more time to settle down. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice surprise but my guess is that after three years, this beer will finally be truly ready and a fantastic offering as beautiful pseudo amber, cooked sucrose treat. I taste 2 row malt for a base, munich malts, medium crystal, a little dark crystal, (I guess its possible that imp mistaking the crystal for some aromatic, biscuit or special B combo) maybe a little black patent malt or roasted barley, refined processed sugar and an American ale yeast.

Overall, this is a well brewed beer to withstand the test of time. Without time, it's a nice offering for the unrefined palette that falls prey to American micro beer marketing bias. The percentage of people that buy beer to age it is very low, thus how should I rate this beer?.... (1,555 characters)

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,038 ratings.