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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

6,172 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,172
Reviews: 2,044
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 424
Gots: 1,057 | FT: 34
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: 6,172 | Reviews: 2,044 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version

Pours caramel/red with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Breadyness & earthy hops

T: Earhy herbal & piney hops along with big tome breadyness up front. Slight brown sugar & alcohol warming follows along with dryness & hints of caramel. Piney hops linger on the tounge along a hint of oakyness & cinamon

MF: Chewy with low carbonation

Drinks pretty good, just a little too hefty to session on, especially when they are served up in bombers. This is a nice strong ale, but overpriced IMO. I doubt I'll buy this next year, just ain't up to the hype . Might be worth cellaring, but not at this price

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of mactrail
2.75/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -6.1%

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

First had: ?

Also strange that I've never reviewed this one, but oh well. Pours a dark amber color with a decent off-white head that leaves some doily lacing on the glass. Dark sugars in the aroma, and a blast of fruity hops. Taste of dark sugars, malts, caramel, citrus and tropical fruits, woody, notes of dark dried fruits and some pine resin. Full bodied, a little sticky, noticeable alcohol presence, strong, very good overall, but not something you could drink all night. Well maybe you could, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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

Appearance: beautiful bright crimson coloring, with a big, solid, creamy head standing on top.
Aroma: rich, fruity, and burnt. Feels like a turbo-charged Young's Old Nick , it does! Fruit+liquorX 100! Spicy, sweet, and strong!
But, to drink! Mellow, on the tongue and tastebuds, at first, but soon sizzling with hops, flavor & booze, sweet boooze!
Boom! Bam! Biff, bang, Pow!!! There is no relief, nor should one seek any, from this hoppy, malty onslaught!!!
DAMN! I can't think of a tastier ale with this much strength, anywhere! The Double Bastard has seriously laid me to waste! Rich and delicious, and full and fruity and strong and BOOM!, SCHMANG! SCHWOOP!!! (As you see, I've had to invent new sound effects for the occasion)
I've been wallopped but good!, and I like it!
Damn, I like every little wicked thing this beer does to me!
It's a MONSTER!!! There's no relief, no respite, no nothing, just the full-on fruity, hoppy explosion that is this BastardX2!!!
How does it compare to my favorite, Bell's Third Coast Old Ale?
No, I'm not in the mood, or inclination. We'll just judge it on it's own and say that was one hell of a trombone solo!
Strong, sweet, burnt, but still, somehow delicious, that's the thing!

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

Stone is celebrating 10 years of the Double Bastard and I was fortunate enough to have the current vintage (2009) on draft at a local beer bar. Much appreciated treat for myself.

Beer was clear and brown. Formed a thin white head (slightly yellowish bubbles) and has low carbonation. Lacing is high, its an attractive beer.

The aroma is primarily hops and malt. There is some detectable alcohol in the nose, but its not solvent-like at all.

Beer is surprisingly smooth, really high bitterness at the back of the mouth, a little (less than I expected) sweetness at the front. Sweetness in the front is primarily malt based syrup flavor. Its good. There is some alcohol in the midpalate but its not bad and is well balanced by the high hop bitterness in the back. Drinkability is fine, not high, couldn't pound this beer, Mouthfeel is good, nice connectivity throughout the beer, good body, not thin or too thick. Beer gets a little dry after a few drinks but that's OK. A really nice beer.

Whenever I drink a beer like this I wonder how it will age. This is one of those strong ales that I bet would get sweeter with time as the hops fell back and the alcohol warmness mellowed.

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 10/04/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey at the Stone Total Tap Takeover event. Vintage 2003.

a - Pours an amber, ruby red color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, bready malts, and chocolate. Sweeter than the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A very good, solid strong ale. Some nice caramel malts and dark fruit in the nose and taste. Would like to have again fresh to compare.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to try this one, bought a bomber for $6.99. Pours a cloudy orange red, great hop aroma to it. Taste is medium to full bodied, an absolute hop bomb with some definite alcohol taste on the back end, but man is it tasty and delightful. Complex with a great mouthfeel, it goes down surprisingly well. Packs quite a punch and you'll be slurring your words a bit as you finish the last drop, but it's a damn good beer and a great night capper.

Photo of jwc215
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage

Pours reddish amber with a thick creamy head that slowly descends to leave of lacing down the glass. Nice retention. The thin head stays throughout.

The smell is of caramel, earthy grains and citrus. Mild alcohol.

The taste is of thick sweet malt upfront - caramel, sweet - barley(?) ...brown sugar. It is balanced out, and beaten out after the second sip - by bitter citrus - orange and grapfruit. Soon, the citrusy, chewy hops fully emerge to overtake the maltiness. The malt, however, remains intact and give the hops a solid backbone. Complex, and the flavors are nicely layered.

The feel is smooth with an incredibly well-balanced texture. The abv is barely noticeable in the taste and feel - leaving it to sneek up on you.

This is an incredible brew - nicely balanced with the hops in control in the end. Fresh, full, tasty and complex. This is an amazing brew. And the beer gods rejoiced...

Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into N'Ice Chouffe stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a dark caramel brown. Semitransparent. Appealing.

Sm: Grapefruit is dominant, with some candied sugar, yeast, and other vague citrus esters. Aroma is mild in strength. It's alright, but it doesn't really jump out and grab me.

T: Pleasant grapefruit is the first thing I notice. The caramel and HEAVY candy sugar, however, are not so pleasant. They do help cover the alcohol - which I don't notice, but it's too sweet overall. I feel like my teeth are rotting with every sip. It's anything but balanced; it needs to tame the candy sugar considerably. It's built alright, but it's far from a good beer.

Mf: Tingly and overly soft from the candy sugar abundance. It's abnormally, artificially soft and it really bothers me. Also, it's too thick.

Dr: They seemed to build the beer around hiding the ABV, and in that respect it succeeds. But the insane amount of candied sugar hides the best aspects of the beer: the citrusy notes and yeast. It may be worth a try for hardcore fans of Belgian beers that rely on candied sugar, but I think most middle of the road beer drinkers will be as turned off as I was.

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

Muddy, light brown color. Modest head of one finger, but it lasts a very long time and leaves broken lace rings on the glass.

Aroma: Sherry-like maltiness; moderate grapefruit hop smell. Some pineapple notes as well.

Lots of hops to cut through the heavy malt feel. Alcohol is notable but not the predominant flavor. The potency can be sensed without dictating the taste. Hops are the story here; it's very much like a dark DIPA--perhaps we could call this Triple IPA.

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.

Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Fort Worth Flying Saucer Fall beerfest. 2008 vintage.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get a ton of citrus hop character with a lot of caramel malt and alcohol. The flavor is pretty bitter with a lot of juicy orange citrus and pine notes. The caramel malt is present in the flavor but doesn't cut the bitterness too much. The alcohol is also present. The mouthfeel is medium to thick and is very sticky. Medium carbonation.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 Release, Sampled November 2004
Wow, this is certainly pungent and fresh smelling, it is a solid punch of citrus hops that is approaching the level of candied fruit. I get notes of apricot, tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, tangelos. The aroma is really quite interesting, and before my first sip of this beer, I am going to hazard a guess that this is the best part of this beer. The beer itself is a brilliant deep amber color that is topped by a creamy tan head.

The taste is definitely not quite as intense as the aroma. It is full bodied, with a certain creamy fullness to it. The taste is definitely hoppified, with a nice mixture of apricot, grapefruit, and an astringent herbal character. This beer is not overly bitter, in fact the bitterness is pretty well in balance, there is a lingering astringency that sticks to my tongue long after the beer has slid down my throat, this seems to be from the copious amounts of hops added. I am sure this will fade with time, but so will the fresh hoppiness that I am enjoying right now.

There are some notes of hot alcohol in the finish as well, but nothing overwhelming. This is not nearly as malt dominated as I remember last years being. Basically this beer is quite tasty, and quite a bit better than I have previously given credit for.

2003 release, Sampled November 2003
A brown head, that as you pour starts deceptively small and then blossoms in my tulip Duvel glass to about 3 inches (7.62 cm for the non-Americans) thick. A hazy amber color with beautiful garnet notes when held up to the light. A malty hoppy aroma, evokes the thought of a sticky sweet hop smell. Surprisingly, very malty was my first thought upon tasting this beer. The hops are there, but not over the top and in your face. This is a thick bodied beer that seems to leave a coating film even after I have swallowed. Definitely hoppy, the more I sip the more I can detect the bitter finish in this beer. A syrupy hop flavor hits your tongue at first, and then finishes with a drying bitterness. Rating 3.7/3.5/3.5/4.0/3.5/3.5

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -12%

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

Stone Double Bastard 2005

05/24/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2005 version. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep copper in color. Brandy-like in color. Pours with a ¾ inch white head. Decent amount remains until the finish. Light streaks and flashes of lacing.

Smell- Mixture of english and american. Heavy pine and fruity hops. On the other hand, lots of booze soaked caramel and butterscotch fruitcake. Nice combo. Even the scent gets you buzzed.

Taste- As expected..a full onslaught of hard hitting hops. Woodsy and piney, fruity and bitter, perfumey and floral. The full spectrum here. Very nice rich caramel malt holds this together the best it can. With the amount of IBU's in this beer, you really can't expect to have a truly balanced beer. But, considering, it's about as balanced as can get. The bitterness last long and into the night.

Mouthfeel- After warming up it gets considerably thicker and viscous. Bitterness I'm sure I will be tasting in the morning. Carbonation is mid range...less as it warms.

Drinkability- My first Double Bastard! Good stuff. I enjoyed it warm and right out of the fridge. Mmmm, hops!

***2004 Release

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2004 release. Poured into my Double Bastard tumbler or some other bastardized glass type. Looks like something you would serve a white russian in.

Appearance- Reminds me a lot of the Old Gaurdian I had last night. Light brown and the dark orange side. Almost liquor like (brandy?) About a 1/2 inch head which evaporates soon after. Leaves very mild lace marks.

Smell- A bit more on the malty side with a nice caramel and bubble gum nose. Hops are present, but a bit subdued. Stone...subdued?!?! Yeah, it's been 3 years plus. Mild grapefruit scent from the lupulin.

Taste- Fairly well balanced. Heavy and sweet caramel malted taste with a muted hop assortment. Some grapefruit, a bit of pine and a dash or assorted citrus flavors. Even a hint of black cherry at one point.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, slick and medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Liked it better aged I think. A bit buzzed right now after this and another 12oz 10% plus beer, but overall it was failry well balanced, flavorful and finished well. Boosting the rating a bit, I think...

***2006 Release

Two years in the cellar has been good to this beer. A full onslaught of both pine and grapefruit hops as well as a nice roasted caramel malt presence. All together very well rounded. Has a noticable alcohol flavor though. At first sip it seems much higher in abv than 10%. It does calm down though and becomes quite a nice beer as it warms. Drink now or hold for another year.

***2007 Release

This one has had about 4 months in the cellar. Actually, I just bought it...a bit late this year on getting my annual releases. Anyway, this one seems much more balanced right off the mark. Don't get me wrong...this is Stone and hops are king...make that hardcore hops. But the caramel malt comes out much more than in past fresh bottles. Still could use a full year in the cellar (or more), but fairly drinkable right now.

***2008 Release

Freshly consumed about two weeks after the release date. Furious burning hops and a hefty alcohol presence. Burns going down until the last third of the bottle after it calms down. Not really a hugh bitter aftertaste though, which is odd. Almost has a cherry cough syrup-like taste. Needs at LEAST a year in the cellar for me. Still good 'ol Stone though.

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 6,172 ratings.