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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,045 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,045
Hads: 6,369
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,045 | Hads: 6,369
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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Photo of Sycodrummer
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently has a 5oz. sample of it at the Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston, Ma. As its name implies and prior BA's have indicated in their reviews this is a great one - strong - but great.

Apearance was a light to medium brown color similiar to that of a brown ale only a bit lighter. Service was in Sunset's traditional 5oz. Pilsners which allowed for very nice head retenion during the duration of the sample but offered little in the way of lacing.

This beer started off with a fruity smell that was backed by a powerful and strong taste. Definitely something that needs to be respected as a brew. A nice beer to sit and sip as an aperitif or cordial. Would not want much more than 5oz. though as it packs a punch. But overall a very solid brew that i will be sure to sample again in the near future.

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Photo of Stingray5
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally the elusive Double Bastard is in hand. Pours a deep gold with red highlights, huge, foamy tan head. Exceptional aroma. Subdued sweetness in the aroma, with hints of hop bitterness. As it warms, pineapple. Creamy mouthful, this is much smoother than I remember the (single) Bastard being. While hoppy in taste, this bastard reckons itself a barleywine. Big sweet malt presence, dark fruit, grape, hints of red wine. The hops give a wake up call in the finish, with a nice touch of alcohol burn to liven things up. Not overbearing by any means.

I find this even more drinkable and enjoyable than standard Arrogant Bastard. Stone has done it again. Great success!

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

2004 Edition

Deep amber with glowing crimson highlights, startlingly clear. Tan head, fizzes and settles down to a few centralized chunks of bubbles. Nose is of very juicy citric hops, caramel and a powdery sweetness, best described as cotton candy. A detectable piney scent lingers with fusel underpinnings.

Full in the mouth but not really thick, nor particularly sticky the carbonation is just right, keeping it light and bordering on creamy. It hits your tongue with a wave of citrus that's surprisingly lacking in bitterness. Actually, it's quite refreshing. There's a lot of fruity and powdery sweetness and as you swirl it around in your mouth alcohol pops up here or there. Going down, it shows it's true colors with intense caramel maltiness and rough, aggressive pine sap hops. The piney aspect remains and builds in the rear palate throughout the experience, adding an enjoyable aggressive hop presence to this otherwise surprisingly sweet and mellow ale. At points the citrusey hops mingle with the cotton candy in the malt for a flash, teasing you with an easy drinking ale before the bastard rams some more savagely bitter Chinook down your throat. Incredible strong ale. I'm impressed.

A perfect example of attaining balance by going to extremes. Really, really nice. I love it fresh and can't wait to try it with some age on it.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Anam Cara in Brookline, MA.

Nice deep reddish-brown color. Poured into a red wine type of glass without much head at all. Did not leave a lot of lacing or retain its head very well. Sweet, malty aroma with the presence of alcohol. Very complex flavor but the alcohol taste and aroma is unavoidable. The mouthfeel is incredible. Very creamy texture which makes it a great after dinner beer. Very easy to drink despite all the alcohol in it.

I was not overwhelmed by this beer, but I feel it would be most enjoyable as a dessert beer or something to sip after a nice meal.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

-2004 release

Appearance: Deep copper with a thick, off-white/caramel swirled head. Very active, fine carbonation. Excellent retention. Thick lace and residual head/collar for quite a while. Nice.

Smell: Powerful blend of caramel, chocolate, pine, citrus, floral and pitted fruit. (Peach? That's a new one.) Slightly medicinal/solvent. It all combines to create its own unique, perplexing scent. There's a lot going on here.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Thick, dense, coating but lively mouthfeel. Chocolate maltiness off the bat, with dense hop favors mid-palette. Cherry/plum sweetness emerges periodically. Finishes slightly bitter. There seems to be a hint of diacetyl in this one as well.

Drinkability: Big and brash--one's more than enough. Truth be known, I much prefer the Single Bastard. This one's good, and lord knows it's big, but I'm not finding anything that really wows me. Maybe a bit of aging will help, but as it stands, Bigfoot stomps da Bastard.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bastard shall set you free. Pours a nice amber cherry wood mahogany with tan head that settles to a thin lacing. The smell is a nice citrus wallop, pine and spice make everything nice. Hints of caramel but are just overmatched. The taste is a lemon lime citrus blast up front, the hops will tingle in the mouth all the way through, you will have a nice robust roasted malt taste afterward with buttered tofee, very nice, medium bodied and dangerously good, the drinkability is down because 2 of these and you will be on your knees.

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Photo of Truh
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was adopted twice with this one on 11/27/2004. 16-oz. pour, the fool of a bartender, in a shaker glass at Sunset. I was sorely tempted to order a second.

Nice, ½ inch plume of initial down feather head. Deep amber to light brown hue that is calm and clear. Candied apple and cherry cotton candy sweetness to nose, underneath which resides a malt clamminess. Gaudy dreamberry fizziness on the tongue, followed by a shot of alcohol heat and a fairly cleansing hop bite at the end. Sort of middling sting to the mouth as it warms. I should have ordered a second 16-oz tumbler.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2004 Release in a 22 oz. bomber.

Dark, cloudy, chestnut-amber in color with a thin layer of foam floating on top. Aroma full of hops, caramel, and many, many other dark, wonderful flavors.

The taste is surprisingly smooth, with a wonderful back-and-forth volley of hops, caramel, brandy characters, and again, millions of other faintly detectable elements, with alcohol warming around the edges.

This is an unbelievable offering, truly exceptional to its core. A fine sipper after Turkey Day leftovers, too...

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

The beer pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite/tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is perfect. It has a rich and intense malt offering that is balanced well with an equally intense hop aroma. It is quite floral to the nose as well as warm smelling. The taste is good. It has a very bitter hop flavor which seems to carry the taste. The malts compliment the palate, but take a backseat to the hops. It goes down easy and finishes warm and sweet. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It is full of rich flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

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

2003 vintage, poured with a hazy dark amber rubish brown color witha dark tan head that fades to a skim after awhile. hoppy alcoholic aroma, but what of course this is the double bastard after all. some hints of sweet malty background in there but they are fairly hidden until you taste it. warming alcohol up front followed by a good solid hoppy bittereness that isn't too overdominating. nicely balanced malt flovors that seemed to have desintigrated over the course of a year in my fridge. I would have like it if this had a little more malt background, but it's still one hell of a barleywine.

2004 vintage poured in an arrogant bastard glass both courtesy of Gueuzedude, poured with a creamy off white head and a deep garnet hazy color. resiny hoppy aroma with underlying malt sweetness and some raisins then there's the alcohol. nice sweet thick body that balances out with an intense hop character that is really bitter-a little coarse but not harsh. still an awesome beer.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh at long last I have thee in my clutches!! Long have I waited for the Bastard to "set me free".
What an absolutlly gorgeous beer to look at,dark red,garnet in the light,small streams of carbonantion, great frothy off white head, that recedes to leave luxurious lacing, excellent..when the entry "beer" comes up in an encyclopedia this should be the one in the picture.
Very vineous,toasty aroma,sweet,smells of prunes,figs and fruitcake.
Again quite sweet indeed, to taste but its a dark,slightly decomposed sweetness, like prunes,figs and dark wild berries,after the sweetness a great bitterness,and a warming alcoholic tang.Warming all the way down, but in reality the 10% alcohol is barely noticable.
Exceptional mouthfeel on this creamy smooth and a great warming after taste.
I have to say this a beauty of a beer and very drinkable,,maybe dangerously so, for a 10% beer.
review was for the 2004 release.

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

Brew poured into a fitting 22-oz Stone AB flute. Very nice color - a deep orange/red/amber. Almost glows. Complex nose and sent profile - lots of malts and hops hit you all at once - carmel, orange, hint of pine. The smell can be overpowering, but becomes balanced once you take it all in.

Flavor was out-of-this-world. Not sure why this is called a barley wine by BA, but I guess it fits as well as any style. The massive malts are balanced , fought over, and eventually displaced by the hoppy sweetness of this brew. Very complex, with many, many notes and flavors vying for attention. Carmel and buttery notes come through most strongly for the matls, with orange and "hoppy sweet" coming through for the cone-leaning. Beautifuly crafted beer!

Mouthfeel is good, with tons of interplay occuring on the palate. For all of its power and complexity, DB is still very drinkable, though it demands respect while doing so.

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

2004 bottle courtesy of mrpicklerelish, big up.

App: Very clear, cherry brown with a viscous, light tan head. Nice.

Smell: Equally malty and hoppy. Some citrus and roasty, caramel malt. Even sweet pastries and raisin bread at times.

Taste: Whoa. The huge flavors one would expect from Stone. Brown sugar and candy sweet but searingly spicy as well. Fruity at times... cherries perhaps? Finish is wickedly bitter like other Stone brews. Grapefruity bitterness simply tears through your mouth and right into your throat. Leaves the mouth slightly dry but wanting another sweet sip. Extremely balanced. Well done. This stuff would rock with some age on it.

Mouthfeel: A real whopper. Big and chewy, full bodied and nicely smooth. A welcome warming from the high ABV and spicy hops.

Drinkability: It's deliciously balanced and you'd never guess the ABV was so high. I drank the 22oz pretty quickly. Tasty.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Malty, hop infused alcohol aroma. Big, foamy, cocoa colored head leaves some pretty serious lace. Mahoganny colored beer with a ruby hue, tiny bubbles lazily float to the surface. The beer is dark, but transparent which creates a really cool effect, kind of like a gem stone. Beer is slick and coats your tongue with flavor. Malt bomb up front that barely holds of the alchol. Stong bitterness kicks in half way through. There's a sweetness floating under the surface that pokes it's head out long after the last swallow. It's what I expected, a big strong american barleywine, but not my bag.

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