The Double Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California pours out a clear, deep, ruby red in color and is topped with a large (three fingers plus), cream colored, dense head that slowly reduces down to a thick film with a good sized collar. On the nose, big hops and a solid maltiness. Aromas of pine, citrus rind, toffee, some tropical fruit and a little spice. In the mouth, a bit unusual but at the same time wonderful, with two diametrical aspects colliding and thoroughly exciting your taste buds. Bitter meets sweet and wants to fight but does so in a way that is agreeable to the palate. Flavors of pine, citrus rind, peppery spice, toffee, caramel and some booze heat. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Thick sheets of lacing on the glass. Syrupy, sticky, oily, full, coating mouthfeel. The finish is very long and as the sweetness fades away the hops win the battle and the bitterness shines.
A very big beer with two incongruous aspects that fight for your taste buds creating a wonderful buzzy enjoyment on your palate. While you sip through the glass you find a big sweetness in one sip and then the next second a big bitterness. Both flavors ask for your attention and play off each other. Truly a wonderful craft beer that I'd buy over and over again. Highly recommended.
22 ounce bomber, 11.2% ABV, IBU - classified
Beer 316 of 366 for 2012