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Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,041 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,041
Hads: 6,357
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 5.4%
Wants: 461
Gots: 1,172 | FT: 40
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: 2,041 | Hads: 6,357
Photo of palliko
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a luminescent copper that sports a thick white head of foam that sticks around all the way. Aroma has pine, fruit, and massive hops. Initial taste reels from the ethanol vapors, floral/citrus hops, SWEET malt, moves on to brown sugar, tropical fruits, dark chocolate, and finishes with dry bittersweet chocolate, dough, and leaves a clean palate. Gets more complex as the beer warms. Another winner from Stone. (424 characters)

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

Presentation - c.2004 vintage bomber

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

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

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

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

Aside the from fact that I can't imagine sessioning this, it was enjoyable and, IMHO, better than Arrogant Bastard. If you have the opportunity and the time, definitely try this. (1,614 characters)

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

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

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

"Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard Shall Set You Free." (897 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impression: A great beer for that mood that hits you every couple months. Not an everyday beer for me. When you need this beer, none other will suffice. It's what Arogant Bastard wants to be when it grows up. (1,311 characters)

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

2004: Mostly clear, deep red with orangish highlights. Thick, dense, off-white head that showed very good retention and lacing. Big, balanced aroma profile combining rich maltiness with fresh citrus and piney hops. Again, the flavour was a wonderful balance strong, caramel maltiness and aggressive hop bitterness and flavour. There's also a very light fruitiness present. Complex finish, dry and long with plenty of bitterness, alcohol warmth and pine resin flavours. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a smooth, creamy texture. This is an awesome beer, surprisingly well balanced and drinkable considering the huge flavours and high abv. (644 characters)

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

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

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

The aroma has fruity and spicy with a nice hoppiness.

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

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

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

Cheers. (576 characters)

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

Deep copper/orange color with a thick cream colored head. It has a great grapefruit rind hop punch up front along with a complex malt profile. Fig, dates, toffee, bourbon and vanilla all come at you in waves. The taste has the same wealth of layers. The bourbon character is more pronounced, the vanilla mellows it nicely, and the sweetness of fig and date is almost hidden. It has a pronounced alcohol warmth, a rich and smooth mouth feel. Very drinkable, very good. (467 characters)

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

Pours a clear orange/brown, with very nice looking head, and a lot of lacing. The smell is HOPS, but a very fresh hop smell, floral citrus, very little alcohol can be detected in the nose. The taste is a dense malty backbone balanced perfectly with hops. This is the most perfectly balanced beer I've ever had. You know theres a shitload of malt and a shitload of hops, but neither of them have the advantage. Insanely full mouthfeel, and just an excellent ale. Thanks a lot DrJay! (481 characters)

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

Pours a ruby infused deep brown with a beige, coating, sticky head that refuses to die. What can I say about the magnificent aroma? Sweet caramel malts mingling with bittersweet chocolate; bready, somewhat biscuity malt profile; very sweet overall with a raisiny brandy like alcohol quality. No disappointment in the flavor whatsoever. Citric hops that aren't very evident in the nose hit you first, melding into soft sweet malts. Lots of sweetness: sugary and buttery caramel, raisiny and somewhat nutty. Finishes with a sweet, warming alcohol kick. Mouthfeel is very thick and smooth, slightly oily. An agressive beer in both flavor an ABV. Seems to be much along the lines of an old ale or stock ale. Very warming and pretty drinkable at a slow pace. What I call a good reading beer. (786 characters)

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

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

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

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

A wonderful offering from Stone....again. Very nice, I think I might punish myself one night and have two of these bad boys. (772 characters)

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

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

Fruit aroma well blended alcohol, malt and pine hops.

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

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

Thanks Joe hope you enjoyed the Hop Rod I brought over on brew day "here is to us" and the doomesday brew machine that we constructed. (642 characters)

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

Had this in a 3L bomber, quite an intimidating bottle. Pours a hazy orangish/brown with a big ol' creamy head. The aroma is incredibaly sweet, tons of malt with a nice hop profile. The taste really knocks your socks off. Malt galore, almost syrupy sweet. Bready and yeasty, plums, raisins all come through. The hops kick in, but aren't overpowering. This is one of the only barleywines I've had that really showcase malts more than hops. Very different. Can't say the drinkability is great, I wanted more, but it really kicked my ass. (534 characters)

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

This was a lovely clear red beer with a three finger tan foamy head that lasted for a while. Good shit!

The aroma was slightly sweet, as expected. There was rich fruity malt, pine-like hops, and a hint of mustiness.

Taste was bitter, with musty malt, roasted barley and caramel, hints of vanilla, and alcohol. The alcohol was powerful, but in character.

Mouthfeel was nice and chewy, a little thick, and quite good. Drinkability would be a 4.5 but for the power of the alcohol. (487 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rust color...quite cloudy.
Head is a full finger of light tan head...thick, sudsy lace that has awesome cling to the side of my tulip glass.
Aroma is a subtle malty sweetness...raisins and hops w/ just a faint hint of alcohol.
Taste in very enjoyable..a thick malty goodness w/ a huge hop presence. Alcohol is well hidden in this brew. Mainly rum raisin and cherries in its flavor.
Mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is spot on for its style.
Drinkability is great for 10%...this bomber will be gone in no time.
Thanks to JackStraw22 for the push to pull this one out from the cellar. (607 characters)

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mothers Day 2005. Perhaps not the best way to honor my mother, but...

Appearance:
An aggressive pour brought out a head that would make rootbeer proud, big fat bubbles sitting on a creamy looking base. A pretty copper/ruby color, with a nice train of carbonation running up the sides. Left thick lace as the level of beer receeded.

Stink:
When I stick my nose into my glass, it is greeted by a tangy plum raisins alchohol bouquet. Yeasty biscuits come to mind too.

Taste:
Fruity. Apples, mostly, but certainly an undercurrent of something else. Warming alchohol follows everything, and provides a little tang.The biscuty malt provides a base for everything, the hops are very mild, but show up as the beer warms.

Feel:
Smooth, yet solid. The subdued hop presence never the less provides a bit of oil to the feel, the complexities of the flavor a little tang. It feels solid, thick.

Drinka:
Whew. Drinkable, but a sipper. A lot going on with the beer, all of it good. Halfway through a glass (which was only half a big bottle) I can feel it, a pleasant warmth that I can't attribute to the spring sunshine.

Overall:
An interesting beer. I like it, but it is a sipper, a thinker of a beer. Not something I would sit at the back deck (if I had one) and drink, but an enjoyable beer for sure. I have yet to finish the bottle, but I certainly won't be driving anywhere this mothers day, thanks to the bastard. (1,428 characters)

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

This was actually the second time I was able to try this awesome brew and man I want more!Pours a rich deep copper with some amber hue with a one finger head that is gone pretty quickly,intense fruity aromas washed with alcohol with some brown sugar in there as well big and bold to say the least.Flavors are just sublime again the intense fruit and caramel up front but the big hop presence is felt to meet the big chewey maltiness half way to make this just exceptional.Thanks to Garagekegger for sharing another awesome beer. (528 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber, 2003 release (cellared in fridge @ 45 degrees; sampled 4/2005)

Aroma: Rich dark fruit and a Cascade like grapefruit note that almost burns it’s so prominent. There are some vinous qualities, almost a brandied raisin smell. Alcohol is present, but infused with so many nice things.

Appearance: Half finger of tan head at the pour quickly evaporated before my eyes to some traces of bubbles . Glass is amber-plum colored and semi-opaque letting enough light through to show clarity and color, but little else.

Flavor: Maybe it’s the aging, but I’m amazed on how mellow and smooth this is. Rich dark malt holds all the fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and dates. Firm but not harsh hop character comes in about mid taste showing strength to cut the sweetness, but restraint in only letting a mild hop flavor and burn come through. A very mild alcohol taste in the finish, but only a playful tickle where it should be a crushing fist. As it warms a bit of a roasted malt and tobacco flavor comes through.

Mouthfeel: Serious chew called for; the body is very full and rich. A nice dry finish as well. Only traces of carbonation noted which really fits the overall profile of this beast. It numbed everything it came in contact with.

Overall Impression: Wow. Scary how easy it is to drink. Where this should be an assault on many levels, it’s more of a subversion; the dagger in the back from a treacherous lover rather than the jackboot of a thug. I could drink another bomber and wake up in front of my computer tomorrow; damn the torpedoes. I cellared this for close to two years to celebrate a long project. As it turned out, it’s more consolation than celebration, but it would serve either purpose nicely. Strongly recommended.

Mad props to an outstanding BA: weefishheads for the trade. He traded with me as a newbie BA and showed me what an outstanding community this really is. Sorry you had to wait so long on the review.

"Ye shall know the Bastard, and the Bastard shall set you free."

2015 Edit, on of the granddaddies of the craft brew go big movement, but a lot of other great beers have gone beyond where this now sits.
Taking taste down to 4.5 and over all down to 4.5 (from 5s) (2,214 characters)

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

I've become very partial to Double Bastard over this past winter. It's made many a session rewarding.

The smell is like fruitcake.. citrus, cherry, nuts and spiced bread. Hops and alcohol lurk in the background....

The taste is of huge malt.. all sorts of fruity flavors may be noted.. and a strong bitter hops finish. The taste has nuttiness and a deep over-ripe cherry flavor. Sweet with a touch of puckering tartness at the end.

The alcohol creeps out as you continue to drink Double Bastard. Surprising the first time you notice that to go with the huge malt and hops is an equally formidable alcohol in this ABW. (627 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 22 oz bottle. Pours a reddish copper with a big fluffy off-white (almost orangeish) head that retains well and laces the glass. The first pour is clear, the second has some miniscule floaties.

The aroma is piney, grassy hops, some pineapple fruitiness, and a dose of spicy alcohol.

The flavor is sweet fruity caramel malts, pepper, and some woodiness followed by a big spicy alcoholic hop finish. It is medium to full bodied and fairly velvety, with a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, an excellent brew. Big in every way (especially hops and alcohol), yet not overbearing and fairly well balanced - it is almost too sweet at times. The more I drink, the smoother it gets! Reminds me quite a bit of Great Divide's Old Ruffian. (742 characters)

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

A very enticing beer. It pours a bright red-gold with a thin tan head, and is slightly hazy with suspended particles. Attractive.
The nose is very good, with thick pine-needle hops and caramelized, slightly burnt sugars.
The flavour follows, with pine hops and a touch of sweetness up front. All sweetness is obliterated as the beer reaches the back of the tongue and bitterness hits. The bitterness is overwhelming, but not unpleasant. Probably not great if you're not a hop fan, though!
The finish is long and bitter, with alcohol heat (surprisingly well hidden in the flavour) sliding all the way down the chest, and lingering long after the beer is gone.
In the mouth, bitter pine hop resins give it a long, drawn-out aftertaste.
Very, very nice. Again, probably not the best barleywine for those who prefer their hops gentle. But for me, quite fantastic. (864 characters)

Photo of Wonka
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
10% Alc. Vol.
2004

“Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard Shall Set You Free.”

Appearance – not-quite-clear light rust body; cream-colored head that’s bigger than most barley wines I’ve seen; lace is a great sheet then a big break to the bottom; almost a 4 but it squeaked into a 4.5

Smell – more malty than the taste; deep caramel malt sets the base; pine hop bite

Taste – pine and grapefruit rind hop bite; bigger hops than I recall from most barley wines but deep caramel sets the base; some dark fruit; a bit of alcohol; grapefruit rind bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel – full, smooth and silky until the close when the alcohol cuts in a bit; for its size, I couldn’t imagine a better feel; perfect

Drinkability – The 22 oz. is certainly numbing and questions the nerve system supplying your teeth; the smoothness puts the drinkability in an elite area

After a weekend full of a Stone barrage, their brews have set hop bruises in my chops. (992 characters)

Photo of troutmask96
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Another amazing brew from Stone Brewing, and wow, what a beer this is. Pours a very dark mahogany, leaving a lacy head. The smell's really nothing special, but wait until you put this baby to your lips. Oh, joy! The complexity hits you like a freight train, with notes of raisins, dates, caramel, and chocolate. Wow, wow, wow. Don't drink this one with dinner - enjoy sips of it for dessert. I put this right up there with some of my favorite Trappist brews, and that's a remarkable achievement for a domestic brewery. My hat's off to you, Stone... (548 characters)

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

2004 release. Bomber. Poured into a wine glass.

I have two others sitting, but since it's been a year since I had a taste last, I figured I'd buy another to have now and actually review.

Appearance: Beautiful red / amber color, fluffy white head full of mini bubbles that slowly recedes, some spotty lacing around the glass as I drink. Fantastic.

Smell: Fruitiness and malt upfront. Pear, cherry, berries. Some oily hop aromas in the back. Some yeast and bread. Extremely well-balanced, as nothing comes through more than anything else.

Taste: The fruit and sweetness are apparent right away. Some oily hop bitterness is apparent upon after taste, but it's not pervasive. The flavors of fruit are more discernible as it warms, with pear being the most dominant. Some bready and yeasty aromas that help to balance everything too. Amazingly balanced.

Mouthfeel: Very very nice. The tiny bubbles in the appearance come through the make the mouthfeel velvety and carbonated perfectly. I could swish this around all the time.

Drinkability: I don't want more than maybe one a month because this is such a treat. Thankfully I have two left as I write this.

Stone continues to be one of the best breweries around. Some may say this is their best beer, and I'm pretty close to saying it also. Regardless, this is a great beer, and I will continue to drink it as long as it's available. Not only that, but this is recent stuff, meaning the 2004 -- so something this green, that also tastes so fantastic, can only get better with age. (1,549 characters)

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

The appearance is mahogany colored with a half inch tan head. The lacing is very ghoulish looking. Great lacing.

The aroma has a very strong granny smith apple smell to it. Also, several other fruits, brown sugar, caramel, malts.

The taste is insane. Extremely complex. Here's a mild description of what it's like: entering your mouth its caramel, chocolate, malts, molasses and then gives way to piney hops, fruits, herbs and then a salted buttery and extremely bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is somewhat warm and this beer absolutely kicks your palate's ass. I'm talking about like this is a severely pissed off Andre the Giant in his prime with full body armor and armed with bazookas -this beer- versus Dustin Diamond (Schreech from Saved by the Bell) armed with a spork and a spatula -your palate-...not even close and I love that.

This beer is very odd. The first time I tried it, I thought it was absolutely horrible...nearly gave away my other 5 bombers. Fortunately, I gave it another shot and thought it was absolutely great...but didn't review it then. This is the third time I've had it. Honestly, it's between the first two. This time and the first time I had basically nothing to eat and a very clean palate. Both times it was pretty damn hard to drink...basically the equivalent of drinking straight cheap-ass liquor. The second time was after a big dinner and much much easier to drink. I've based my scores based on that experience and will make sure to drink this after meals from now on. (1,517 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Beautiful transparent golden red body with a infintesimal white head.
Aroma: Big sticky malt aroma with loads of spicyness and sap. Is this a restina?
Taste: Huge bitterness overpowers the initial pine-hop, then sweet maltiness. The bitterness grinds on for a long, long time. Way to much alcohol flavor jumping out.
Mouthfeel: Thick, fine bubbles and little hot on the alcohol. This beer is simply too thick, and too hot for me to want to have on anywhere near a regular basis. (493 characters)

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,041 ratings.