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Double Bastard Ale | Arrogant Brewing

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2,101 Reviews
Double Bastard AleDouble Bastard Ale

Brewed by:
Arrogant Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
First release: November 1998
Originally brewed to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale debuted in November 1998 as an amped-up version of that already aggressive beer. A huge malt bill and an unreasonable amount of hops make this ale one that will be appreciated by only a few, and that’s just fine with us. We didn’t brew this dark amber monster to please anyone other than ourselves.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-27-2001

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Reviews: 2,101 | Ratings: 6,645
Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

L: Pours a hazy dark copper color. Three fingers of foamy white head last awhile... great lacing.

S: Rich caramel malts... hops... aggression and arrogance.

T/F: Rich, malty, and assertive... caramel and dark sugars followed by some big time hop bitterness that is pretty much a kick in the jaw. Full bodied and thick. Well carbonated. Warming with the EtOH, but dangerously drinkable. Becomes more rich and full with a few fruity overtones as it comes up to room temp. Finish is sticky and bittersweet.

O: I love Arrogant Bastard... and I really love Double Bastard. Just outstanding beer, and always a treat.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a globe. 2014 vintage is exactly two years old at this point.

A: Deep red-brown color with orangey hues. Fairly hazy. Cream -colored head settles shortly. Specks of lacing.

S: Loads of toasty bread crust. Chewy caramel. Deeply toasted biscuits. Scones. Big raisin and date fruit character. Hops still retain a fair amount of earthy and spicy pull, though they've subsided a bit.

T: Chewy caramel leads. Subtle hints of toffee. Aggressive toasty character. Heavily toasted crust. Scorched pizza crust. Raisin, fig, and date fruit. Hops are still pretty aggro, retaining a lot of bitterness and spicy, oily, and earthy flavor. Alcohols pick it up and spike hard toward the back end. Almost vodka-like. Oily hop finish leaves a strong trailing bitterness.

M: Big, thick, and weighty. Round and chewy in texture with a mild coating feel. Abrasive hop astringency dries things out. Medium-low carbonation.

O: This strong ale is very American Barleywine-esque, and quite aggressive. Huge, overly toasty, bitter, and boozy. Untamed and unashamed. It takes the palate a good while to get used to the beating this beer dishes out, and even then it's still a slow sipper. It's a weird sort of beer in that it's kind of too much and a part of me thinks I shouldn't like it, but yet I somehow still do enjoy it.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smells of pungent resin and bitters, with plenty of caramel and white chocolate to balance. The head is a lovely tiramisu ice cream color, and is smooth and long -lasting, leaving spotty lace. The body is a very deep copper, and while the clarity is murky, it's more romantically mysterious than it is off-putting. The bitterness is strong, thanks to heaps of resinous and floral hops, but is made quite palatable by equally massive toffee and sugared hazelnut flavors. Oaky booze plays a big role as well, but is made more sophisticated by a complex garnish of spices that run the gamut from white pepper to cloves. Medium-bodied and delectably creamy, the mouthfeel is quite seductive, with a nice kick of carbonation to boot. Lots of alcohol warming, and a residual stickiness which leads to uncontrollable lip smacking. It's a big-bodied brew for the fearless, and yet, it's stylistically sound. For those of us who are both hop heads and big beer lovers, Double Bastard does not disappoint.

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Photo of rex_4539
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Hazy dark red color, one finger off-white head, high carbonation.

S: Fig, hops. Lovely.

T: Fig, hops, bitter, very malty. Boozy on the back end.

F: Full bodied, great carbonation feeling.

O: Great beer. Not for every day but would gladly have it again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big ruby and brown colors swirl, 1/2" tan head. Light tan. Aroma was lots of alcohol, unsweetened caramel and toffee malt smells, lots of chinook hop notes.

Taste is like a hefty barleywine, still tons of malt, that caramel, toffee and brown malt tones keep coming, but wave after wave of Chinook and Cascade hop drops all over it. This is one hearty sumbitch.

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Photo of Marius
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Craft & Draft Amsterdam. Dark ruby with a fine-grained off-white head. Caramel, maple syrup, dried fruit (figs, raisins) and a bit of cocoa. Soft mouthfeel, full bodied and with a sticky sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It’s a dark brown ale with a thick, sticky white lacing. It has good caramel malt character, but the hops are really what take over with strong flavors of grapefruit and pine. It has a bitter quality that could almost make you think that this could be a double or triple IPA, though it’s officially a strong ale. You can definitely taste the alcohol in this whopping 11.4% beer, but it’s not overwhelming. It’s a really good strong ale. I’ve tried most of Stone’s beers and at this point I would say that while this is better than average even at this great brewery, there are definitely some Stone beers that I like more (Arrogant Bastard, Imperial Stout, Ruination, etc.).

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Photo of RyanK252
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours slightly hazy deep reddish brown with a creamy tan head that settles to a nice layer and leaves plenty of thick lacing.

S: Toasty malt, caramel toffee sweetness, kinda floral, dark fruit, and a noticeable alcohol note.

T: Dark fruit, berry, toasty bready malt, caramel toffee sweetness, spicy earthy kinda herbal hops, faint citrus, and a hint of chocolatey roasty malt on the back end.

M: Full body, mild carbonation, creamy smooth. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: Pretty much nothing like it's Arrogant little brother, not that is a bad thing in any way. Big delicious beer.

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Photo of stevoj
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Prefunk, 2013 version. Dark brown with small foamy beige head. Aroma is nutty, roast grains, some alcohol warmth plays out in the nose. Flavor is strong, sharp hop bitterness, heavy malt, tingly palate and plenty more alcohol warmth. A real winter warmer.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a hazy amber color with a small head. Retention is mild. Lacing is decent. Super bready malts, slight sweetness, bourbon. Taste is strong on bourbon, very malty, caramel, slight sweetness from brown sugar. Very smooth taste with medium to low carbonation. It is an excellent beer as expected.

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Photo of Rizkybusiness
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Intimidating look and smell-better off going in blind to appreciate the taste of such a strong beer.
Definitely would get it again for those bastard days at the office.

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Photo of stortore
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2014 edition, imbibed late December, 2015.

Pours a deep ruby, opaque, with a one finger head and a good amount of soapy cling. Smells great, lots of malt and caramel, some herbal hops, some brown sugar, slight whiff of vanilla. Taste follows the nose with the malt and caramel. Some citrusy hops to go along with the the more dank, herbal ones, some brown sugar. Good amount of bitterness beginning midway, through the finish. Smooth for the ABV, well carbonated, really good body.

Great beer, have had before but first review. Not overly complex, but well blended and flavorful. Waiting a little more than a year to drink this probably dulls the hops a fair amount, but they're still kickin'. This is one everybody should try.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank in BeerTemple, Amsterdam on draft.

A: The body is cristalline copper with a beige head that has a minimal but beautiful retention and lots of lacing.
S: The aroma is resinous and just a little bit of citrus but all of this in the smallest amount possível, very very soft.
T: The taste is just like the aroma, being very soft, more resinous-y and just a touch of citrus in the end.
M: The body is medium to low with a bit of harsh carbonation but the feeling JN the back of the mouth is gorgeous.
O: Quite a good experience drinking this at BeerTemple. Quite a good beer from one of my favorito breweries.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark amber to red color with a one finger high, beige head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Nose: Hops! Caramel malt, butterscotch, dried fruit, nutmeg, fudge, vanilla, plum and raisin. A bit of orange and citrus there to.
Taste: A lot of malt, grape, orange zest, pine, grass, raisin and caramel.
Mouthfeel: Full body. Oily and smooth. Medium carbonation. Dry and bitter ending.

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Photo of davidperez
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter, it pours a clear copper with ruby glare, with a one-finger head that dissipated quickly.

The bouquet is quite interesting. Caramel, butterscotch, creamy vanilla, boozy as in a spirit, cherry, malty sweetness, just a tad citric as in orange and earthy/spicy hoppiness.
This is already an old bottle for Stone standards, hence the hoppiness is rather subdued.

Upfront you get a lot of carbonation to tease your palate. Bittersweet thrust of flavors, although at the end, the sweetness prevails.
Notes of caramel, molasses, citrusy fruit, butterscotch, spirit booziness, cherry, raisins and a slight hint of apricot.
The aftertaste is long, with a decaying caramel and molasses sweetness and a growing bitterness. Double bastard coats your palate with bitterness. Very assertive, almost aggressive flavors.
Medium body, smooth.

This is quite a special beer.

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Photo of MLoxxer
3.52/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was able to try this beer on tap. The appearance is clear with a dark red color. Maybe it's just me but this beer seemed to have almost no aroma at all. The head collapsed quickly but left some very attractive lacing behind. The best thing about this beer is the flavor. It is big and bold, just the way I like 'em. This one is almost like a highly hopped domestic quadrupel. This was my first positive experience with Stone products.

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Photo of nizzle8287
4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber bottled on 10/8/15. Stored at 55F since purchased last November. Poured into a 10 oz snifter at about 55 degrees F. Pours a clear dark ruby red with some minuscule particulate floating around inside, so it's not completely filtered; this has a positive effect on the flavor of the beer. The off-white head is about a finger and a half, and dissipates within a couple of minutes to patchy splotches and a ring around the edge of the glass. The smell is caramel, vanilla, dark ripe fruit like plum or raisins, a hint of citrus in the background. The taste right off the bat is caramel, a hint of plum, slightly diminished hoppy bitterness that balances very nicely with the malt profile. Really feels like hoppy barely wine. Perfect amount of bitterness and ripe orange and raisin sweetness lingers on the palate for a long time, which is very pleasing and makes me want to drink it very slow, even though it easily goes down silky and smooth. It feels medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Alcohol presence (11%) is barely even noticeable, in fact, the Arrogant bastard (7.2%ABV) at this temperature exhibits more alcohol presence. This beer is a great pleasure to drink, and I suspect would age very nicely.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with an off white head. Spotty lacing. Smell is sweet malt, caramel, toffee, and booze. The taste is this with a hugely bitter hop finish. This is a really tasty beer that I tried years ago and didn't appreciate. I am glad I revisited it.

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Photo of delta490
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a big slightly ruby-tinted medium amber with a thinner tan head that still leaves some nice small sticky lacing. The aroma is malty with a big blast of hops. It's hard to discern characteristics but it's blended well. The taste is much the same but just so damn good. The body is smooth and surprisingly light and easy drinking given the massive flavor and ABV.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber picked up at the LCBO a few months ago; the last of four bottles from their Bastard Box. Bottled Sept 9 2015 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a clear ruby-red amber colour with visible flecks of stuff hovering throughout. One finger of creamy, off-white foam is seated at the surface, fading gradually over the next few minutes until only a wide, frothy collar and some bubbly film remains. I am getting notes of caramel, butterscotch, plum and candied orange on the nose, as well as hints of maraschino cherry, grapefruit, pine resin and some rummy, boozy sweetness.

Not bad, but the hop flavours seem to have faded a bit over the last ~5+ months, making this more of a malt-forward experience than anything else. Brown sugar and butterscotch, some nuttiness and a few hints of raisin and fig comprise the front end, with hops rounding out the back. They impart flavours of citrus and earthiness, with relentless resiny bitterness leading up to the bittersweet finish. Boozy aftertaste that blends hints of dark fruit, caramelized sugar and hoppy bitterness. Full-bodied, with light carbonation levels and a smooth, fairly soft mouthfeel. A good strong ale, though perhaps a little overrated.

Final Grade: 4.02, a very respectable A-. Double Bastard talks a big game (in an unnecessarily verbose manner) on the back label, but in all honesty it's probably my least-favourite of the Bastard Box beers. To be fair, this bottle is nearly 6 months old, and strong ales have never really been my thing, so my tempered reception may have more to do with personal biases and uncontrollable variables more than anything else. It's well-made, but I would much rather drink regular Arrogant Bastard - this one is just too sweet and boozy to land in my wheelhouse. As usual, different strokes apply for different folks, and while this ale might not be my thing, it is still definitely worth a try.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11/15/2015

Appearance - crimson body with tan head

Smell - toffee, caramel, orange zest, butterscotch

Taste - much of what the smell hinted at; toffee, caramel, orange zest, butterscotch , hint of oak

Mouthfeel - heavier end of medium bodied, high carbonation , sweetness upfront from the toffee and caramel flavors, hoppy back end, oak/woodsy feel

Overall - very good beer here, nice&balanced flavors, drinks like an imperial red ale

Price Point - $ 6.99 / 22 oz bottle

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Photo of steved5500
4.94/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Started garage cold, about 45* and nothing special. Put glass down and picked up again 50 minutes later. Totally over the top re taste (smooth) and alcohol present but pleasurable. Will store some for aging.

update: just opened a 2015, and it is absolutely amazing. Poured it into a frozen mug as the beer itself wasn't all that cold. Once they reach their total ambient temperature tasted it and it is out of this world.

new update: my local beer distributor brought out a case of 2013 Double Bastard. I immediately bought it as it was already aged by three years. Not only that but the price was 2013 variety. A win-win. The Taste was exceptionally mild, the alcohol not overwhelming. Overall a very very mild-mannered totally amp'd up beer.

So now I have one Case of the 2013 and a case of the 2015. Both are amazing.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

L: Pours a mildly turbid, very dark ruby-amber with tinges of burnt orange at the edges and a moderately-sized off-white head.

S: Grassy, piney hops and some toffee and caramelized wort mingle together. Turbinado sugar, dried dark fruit and dark rum.

T: More grassy resinous hops upfront, with concentrated toasty boozy malt behind it. Semi-sweet finish with lots of grassy piney hops. Though bold, everything here comes across as quite balanced and very drinkable for the style and strength – no real oxidized notes, just a really nice mellowing of the flavors.

F: Medium-full body with a chewy, resinous mouthfeel. Just under medium carbonation and a decent but far from overwhelming amount of heat in the finish.

Thoughts: This beer aged beautifully, and actually come out pretty similar to the Old Guardian I laid down at roughly the same time. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co. - Double Bastard Ale. 11% ABV. 22oz bomber split between two snifters. Bottled 10/14/14.

Look: Settles in the glass a deep, hazy caramel mahogany. Almost no presence of head, only a thin ring of white bubbles along the rim.

Smell: Strong bourbon, hops, and malts, followed by some char, oak, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar.

Feel: Full bodied, heavy and chewy. Has a little bit of carbonation to balance.

Taste: Bourbon, char, hops, malt, and alcohol are immediate, and leave a lasting impression the whole way through. Caramel, brown sugar, and toffee appear near the backend to give it some sweetness.

Overall: What a bastard indeed; this is a huge, unforgiving beer not for the weak. Beautifully complex, sweet, boozy, charred, malty, and bitter all in one.

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Photo of leaddog
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a deep copper red with two fingers of foamy tan head.

Smell - bready caramalts, toffee, brown sugar, fig, citrus and earthy hops.

Taste - Bready caramalts, toffee, and brown sugar dominate the brew. The fig, citrus and earthy hops help to finish the brew off. There is some warmth as well that comes into play with this one.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a lingering sweetness alongside a touch of bitterness from the hops. There is also a pleasant warmth from the alcohol.

Overall - Another winner from Stone. Though this beer had more of a malt presence then hop presence it was still a unique brew that displays the malts quite well.

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Double Bastard Ale from Arrogant Brewing
4.25 out of 5 based on 6,645 ratings.
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