Double Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,299
Reviews: 2,072
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 443
Gots: 1,137 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,299 | Reviews: 2,072
Photo of jdoolin
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22oz bomber, poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Deep, reddish copper, large foamy tan head.

Aroma: Prominent malt aroma, slightly fruity, a bit of alcohol

Taste and Mouthfeel: Oh the malt flavors here... brown sugar, caramel, fruity and a nice lightly piney hop flavor. Sweet, thick, syrupy but so damned smooth.

Notes: An outstanding strong beer by Stone. So smooth and easy to drink for a strong beer. I enjoyed this by an outside fire with my fiance and a good friend and his wife. Perfect setting for this beer. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will get a bottle any time I see it.

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

Very dark red, Cakey tan foam head, quickly diminishing, probably due to the high alcohol content. Many Different smells, floral hops and dominating malt. Flavor bites you with the malt and hops, and astrengincey(spelling?) Too bad this only comes around every so often to my town. They always have arrogant, but not the double. Next time they come in I will buy about a dozen of them. good beer

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

2008 edition

Pours a hazy orangey red color with a small off white head.

Big citrusy nose, lots of hops with a touch of alcohol and malt.

Again, lots of grapefruity hops on the palate with a long lingering bitterness, but it's very pleasent. A touch of tropical fruit along the way, but not as much as I remember in years past. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Nice full body with creamy carbonation.

Very high drinkability given the ABV. If I tasted this blind I would peg it as a DIPA. Tons of hops and they are tasty. A total palate destroyer, but in a good way.

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

Where do I start! DB pours a dark brownish reddish color with an amazing head. Amazing from the get go! Smells of piney citrusy hops smack you in the face and make your mouth water. Believe it or not, Stone figured out a way to make ABA better. A strong taste of hops and citrus greet every tastebud in you mouth. You cant get enough. A great stinging mouthfeel comes with DB. It hangs with you for a while. For a strong ale this one goes down beautifully. Only problem is I havent found the right amount. I always wind up drinking too much. Excellent Beer couldnt please me any better. Must try!

Photo of mjrod2142
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a Perfect Pint glass

This beer pours thick and darker than I expected. A perfect half-inch head settled immediately and stood firm. The color is dark caramel and the beer looked almost syrupy.

I smelled a contradicting aroma of citrus hops and roasted malts. Just when I thought the hops were more prevalent, I decided the malts stood out more. Then I changed my mind.

The taste is just as enjoyable of a contradiction. Sharp bitterness is balanced with roasted malts. They both take turns messing with your palate. This is a very serious beer that will make you think about exactly what it is you're drinking.

And at 11.2% ABV, it will punch you in the face. Highly recommended and enjoy it carefully.

Photo of GameFreac
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22. oz bomber - Vintage 2011

Appearance: Pours a nice ruby red with 2 fingers of a white head.

Smell: Smells of sweet alcohol and fruits.

Taste - Tastes like an Arrogant Bastard x2…more like an American Barleywine. Almost reminds me of Bigfoot but sweeter and better. The 10.5% feels warming and good going down but the alcohol is hidden well in the taste. There's a nice fruity flavor with plenty of hops as well. As it warms, the alcohol begins to creep into the taste a little more but it never gets over powering.

Mouthfeel: Medium and perfect for the style.

Overall: Awesome beer and one of my favorites now.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle aged since the 07 release.

Appearance is only .5 from exceptional because of the slightly fading head, otherwise it would be perfect. It pours a deep muddy copper color, almost like an unfiltered apple cider. Which I like, because any time a beer pours this deep of a copper and this opaque, you know it's serious. The head fades quickly and leaves only a tiny bit of lacing. Smell is not too strong but definitely sweet and deep with a slight bit of alcohol around the edges. Taste is phenomenal. The aging has made this beer super smooth. The first taste that I think of immediately is chocolate, which quickly turns to a deep malty flavor that finishes with a crisp, slightly alcoholic hop note that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is like you've dipped your tongue into beer flavored honey, it sticks to your tongue and continues to deliver a piney hope note well after you've taken a sip. The slight alcohol note is the only thing holding this back from a perfect drinkability note, but maybe that makes it perfect because it forces you to savor this beer.

I feel like going out right now and finding another bottle that I can age for 3 years to have the experience all over again. I can think of only one other beer that has been such an exceptional experience as this one and that's the first release of Rogue Brewers Ale on tap at the source, other than that, nothing really comes close.

Photo of ugaterrapin
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Has a deep cloudy brown color with a hint of red. The aroma is overwhelmingly potent. There is a lot going on. Off the bat I am hit with sweet malty smell with hints of earthy hops. The taste follows right in stride with the aroma. It is so complex. I haven't had anything quite like it before so it is hard to describe. It has a strong malt presence, but it isn't quite as sweet as the smell let on. It has a roasted/smokey type taste that is balanced so nicely with the hops. Overall a very interesting beer that leaves me wanting more. Some similarities to the Arrogant Bastard Ale, but definitely a monster by itself. Get this if you have never tried it. It is an experience.

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

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance Dark cloudy copper head is a light brown. Just looking at this bad boy you can tell its a very strong beer just like I like them.

Smells of some citrus and sweet carmel. Maybe a hint of coffee. Very nice.

Wow this stuff packs a punch in the taste department. Start off a little bitter and finishes even more bitter. I get a tangy taste at times as well. This beer will clear your sinuses for sure. Love it. This is a true American Strong ale amped up.

All sort of tingly feelings in the mouth. I really like the liveliness of this beer. Sure it strong but I like that.

A very strong beer that 1pt 6 ounces is plenty for me and I love to drink it.

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.

Photo of Romulus141
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Left-over bottles from Christmas. Poured into a regular glass, and served at room temperature.

Appearance: Pours a deep red-orange with a creamy almond colored head. Held up to the light, the beer shines a brilliant red, and is somewhat translucent. The head dissipates a little, leaving behind strong lacing which does not go away. The color and appearance makes a strong impression, showing the drinker that this is not an average beer.

Smell: The smell is strong. There is a mixture of malts, alcohol, and a very faint hint of citrus. I would say that the alcohol aroma dominates. Since the ABV is high, this does not surprise me. There is also a smoky scent that is detected upon a subsequent sniff, followed by of all things a pineapple. As I would find out with the taste, the smell gets better after getting through what I call the "strong alcohol layer."

Taste: As the smell hints, the taste is strong, and the alcohol is detectable. This beer is far more aggressive than a regular arrogant bastard. I detect malty sweetness, which is creamy. There are some hints of fruit as well. The bitter character dominates initially. The beer gets smoother as I get farther down the glass, and as the temperature gets warmer. It's strange. This beer started really heavy when it came to the alcohol taste, but halfway through, it mellowed out a lot and was replaced with a quality flavor. Now that 'm down to the last third, it's smooth as smooth can be. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. I like that it affords a complexity, but that initial taste was off-putting, and nearly caused me to give this beer a mediocre taste rating.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but smooth. The mouthfeel itself is quite nice, and what I've come to expect from Stone Brewery. My tongue is caressed, and it flows over my palette. Quite enjoyable.

Drinkability: Once you get past the strong alcohol layer (first third of glass or so), these are deceptive when it comes to their potency. They are quite drinkable, despite their strong flavor and full body. I do recommend drinking them in warmer temperatures, as them being cold only obscures the complexity and enhances the alcohol.

Overall, I think I enjoy a standard arrogant bastard a little more, simply because I never had that strong alcohol layer to deal with. If Stone could find a way to get rid of that effect (it was present in just about every bottle within my case), then this would trump the standard bastard. I bet these are great when coming out of a draft handle. Recommended, although I'd have a regular arrogant bastard first for comparison.

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition, two months cellared, from notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Double Bastard DOF glass.

A: Rich reddish bronze, but almost no head, even with a rough pour. The lack of head is disappointing, like a hatless cowboy.

S: Malts smell almost like whiskey, bready sour mash goodness, with lots of hoppy, piney, big oily scents floating atop it. Like someone selling Christmas trees in the middle of the Jack Daniels factory.

T: Hops and alcohol cut your mouth like a delicious knife, while creamy, chewy, sweet malts apply salve almost immediately. Good, but too damn fresh--after observing how well the 2005 did with a little age, I think this one will be even better in a year. However, no chance that my stash will make it that long. (Note: it didn't even make it past February).

M: Oily, burning, like thick firewater. Perfect for this beer; the arrogance of whiskey and the flammability of brandy.

D: Six bottles. That's all I could find. Forget Hamlet, the lack of Stone Special Release availability in the DC/Metro area is the real tragedy (Note: it has since gotten better).

Photo of Packforever1976
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp in my oversized snifter.
2008 series

A: Pours a hazy deep amber, with a nice and creamy light tan head, about 2 fingers. Decent retention, which recedes to a nice creamy layer over the top. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet malt aroma in the initial smell, followed closely by a nice hop bitterness. Not all bitter, kind of fruity as well.

T: Holy crap, what a smack in the mouth! Sweet maltiness up front leads to a fruity hop bitterness. It all blends together in the back nicely and ends with an alcohol burn. Nothing overpowering, but noticeable. Aftertaste reveals a hint of banana, which is pretty nice.

M: A nice thickness, coats the mouth nicely. Carbonation level is appropriate. For such a beast, mouthfeel is pretty nice.

D: Pretty damn drinkable considering the size of this monster. One will be more than plenty, and very tasty.

Photo of talkinghatrack
2.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours clear dark amber with a frothy, lasting head.

S - Loses some points here. Hops mixed with rubbing alcohol. Yes, it is 10.5% ABV but other brews with this power mask it a little better. Seemed fine on the surface whiffs but when tilted for a sip it releases a clear alcohol hit.

T - Big hops punch up front, finishes a little bitter/sour with a warming feel that still lets some notable alcohol taste sneak through.

M - On each sip it starts syrupy but swallows thin.

D - It would certainly pack a punch if downed quick and easy but the notable alcohol notes in the smell and finish will slow people down. Not something I could drink more than a glass or two of in one sitting. UPDATE: In fact, when I went back to finish the bottle an hour later I ended up with a half a glass that I just wasn't interested in finishing. Once it warms up it a little it stuck me as more of a mixed vodka cocktail in unmasked alcohol content. Wasn't feeling it. Adjusting D from 3.5 to 3.

Labeled "2008 Release" and suggested that it be aged at 55F or below. I picked it up a month ago but didn't see the note and it spent maybe two days in the fridge. I suppose with age at the right temp it would improve. Worth a try but I probably wouldn't buy again.

I enjoyed the regular AB more. Double AB seems to ride its admittedly entertaining "I'm a rebel that you REALLY won't like" claim to a higher rating than it may deserve.

Note: After reviewing I skimmed the other reviews. It seems strange how some people describe this beer as cloudy while others (like myself) see it as completely clear. Would aging or bottling dates really make that much of a difference?

Photo of jmarvin4189
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a very dark red color with an off white head

Smell - very hoppy smell just fills my nose with some malty sweetness.

taste - I'm just going to say its delicious since there is no way to describe this beer. I'm lost for words. its hoppy and malty... more hops than malt though... for hop lovers only

Mouthfeel - expected this beer to be dryer by the smell but its very smooth and leaves my mouth watery for more.

Drinkability - if it was a little cheaper i would def be drinking this all the time but you can't cheat on the price to get quality.

Photo of cutout
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Average to small head light brown excellant lacing after each swallow

S-Bready malts,grapefruit hops,with a hint of pine

T- Full bodied taste with a creamy to almost sticky texture,average carbonation and a delightful bitter finish.

M- Is heavy but heavenly the piney and bready flavors linger long after you swallow.

D- This is not for the faint of heart,I can not wait see to how the ones I am cellaring will be next year.

Photo of jonnylieberman
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Once again -- the Double Bastard -- 2005 release

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Looks: A very good looking beer -- the deepest orange, with reds and browns poking through. Off-white nearly tan head about two fingaz high, recedinging into decent (though by nomeans great) lacing.

Smeels like: Pine and malt and big citrus and, well, frankly, it smells like really good beer. There is enough alcohol present in the nose to cut any sweetness and balance the beer out.

Taste: I said the smell was balanced; not the taste. Double Bastard has essentially the best bittering you are going to find in any commercial beer. This is not the "smooth" bitterness that so many DIPA newbies claim to want -- this is the rough-hewn stuff of legends. Within the first sip, your mouth knows full well who exactly is in charge.

The malts are succulent and sweet enough (think plums and figs rather than berries and tropical) but this is a hop foreward brew. Again, the alcohol cuts in and makes itself known, but there is no "hotness." The hops though, are really about as good as it gets. I think in a year's time, I would be rating this beer even higher.

Mouthfeel: The harshness of the hops does interfere with the swallow. That, and for a Strong Ale (this is a barleywine, Bros) I would like things a bit thicker. Still, I love it.

Overall: A longtime favorite that I have neglected for too long. Double Bastard is the highlight beer of a great brewery that all Americans and beer-lovers the world round should be proud of. And those hops... Yeah, Double your pleasure; Double your Bastard.

4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

To quote from the bomber of Double Bastard Ale-- "Ye shall know the bastard, and the bastard shall set you free." Indeed!

I'm a fan of Stone's beers, since they are usually on the well-hopped side. Double Bastard Ale certainly fits the bill on hops, and malt as well.

I poured most of my bomber into a large 22 oz glass; surprised that it wasn't as "heady" as I remembered from last year. The beer left no lace at all, and actually looked "flat" about half-way through. I'm attributing this to the high ABV-- the beer wasn't flat at all, just appeared that way.

Nicely hopped, great malt finish-- love this brew. Of course, one bomber is plenty for one evening!

Stone, keep brewing your awesome beers!

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

My first beer from Stone. Another hop monster from America? Lets see!

Smell: surprisingly malty, which I liked, nuts, burnt sugar, dessert wine notes, some sour notes too, along with grapes and citrus (pineapple, grape). Nice smell.

Taste: nice malty character, with caramell, nuts and some dried fruits. Quite bitter, I'd say, with hoppy notes of grape, pineapple and other citrus fruits. Alcohol nicely integrated.

Overall: well, bitter and hoppy, but with a solid malty backbone. Great beer.

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

Poured from a bomber bottle from the 2009 release.

Nice copper/almost opaque orange in color. Not much lacing and a with the glass I have...minimal head retention.

Lots of piney hops almost like you just got donw cutting down a tree! Tons of caramel malt on the nose as well.

Wow....what a taste both first and last! WOW!!!
It is sweet no doubt, but I do like it. Nice carbonation, but not overdone. Full malt profile that sticks with you as well as the sticky sweetness as well! For all the hopiness, I am not getting tons of citrus, but they may show up as this warms.

Great mouthfeel. Not cloying from the sweetness, but it does coat the mouth with the taste lingering for at least a full minute. Nice hop bitterness as the sensation fades!

Very drinkable, but you obviously have to be careful with such a high gravity beer! It is very deceitful just as a Bastard should be!

I can't wait to try the oaked version of this when I can find it!

Photo of linnet
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colour, cloudy, small tan head, creates a lid, lacing. Aroma is sweet, dark fruit, honey, jam, almost vinous, noticable ABV, reminiscant of belgian quadrupels. Flavour is more hoppy than the aroma indicated, dark fruit, spices, hops. Mouthfeel is lively but quite smooth. Very complex but yet easy to drink. My second beer from Stone and they impress me again!

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

Drinking my second 2009 Double Bastard by Stone, served in a pint glass.

Appearance - A deep beautiful amber hints of orange and mahogany. Light foam and light lacing.

Smell - Deep fruity and sweet smell with tones of alcohol and the typical stone character (from hops, yeast, and high alcohol?)

Taste - Extremely sweet and relatively high alcohol bite. Hop character is relatively strong but surprisingly subtle for a stone's double bastard. There is a sweet caramel undertone.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet with solid carbonation. Mouth feels dry afterwards most likely to high hop content.

Drinkability - I love stone beers and this one is generally well brewed but I think they could do better. The hops aren't as aggresive as expected for a beer of this caliber and the sweetness is overwhelming. Tastes similar to lagunitas brews (which I love) in my opinion. Essentially a great beer that could be improved.

Photo of Hershdawg
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Double Bastard Glass.

Appearance: A gorgeous dark red color. Like an Autumn leaf. Its a bit translucent but still wonderfully colored.

Smell: malty...oh wait... Hopy as well. This is not Arrogant Bastard at all.

Taste: As much as they keep all the IBUs classified this is not Stone's most bitter beer. It is their most flavorful and balanced beer. No trace of the higher alcohol. Slight caramel. Then hops. Even if you do not like Arrogant Bastard give this one a try. Its an entirely different beer.

Mouthfeel: Not too much carbonation in a bottle. The special glass adds a little from the wider base and increase in Ci2 bubbling.

Drinkability: The higher content keeps it from being a session beer but the wonderful taste makes it drinkable anyway.

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

Complete spectrum of aromas, from fruity to chalky. Some barleywine-type characteristics stand out on the nose, but with heightened intensity, and oriented towards the hoppy aspects. Some floral, plenty citric.

Huge, broad bitterness covers the tongue. On the palate the hops are expressed primarily through the bitterness. Starts bitter then gets more bitter on the finish. Tastes like there is a barleywine hiding under there somewhere, but it has been hopped way beyond recognition. Leaves the mouth very hot. There is also a malty/yeasty component to this beer that is quite musky, earthy, dusty, grainy.

I might call it a big brother to Yakima Twilight. But this one is truly unlike any other beer. Not a total joy but definitely an experience.

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

Pours a nice mahogany into my Corsendonk Christmal ale glass. Small 1 finger tan head and some lacing.

Smells of wonderful malt followed by more malt.

Tastes id as it smells all malt with some hop bitterness. Some alcohol warming and It finishes bitter.

Thick full body and syrupy.

Nice sipper that will age well. I am going to celler a few of these. I can,='t wait to tatse this in a few years

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,299 ratings.