Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beer Review: Double Bastard

Reviewing the Double Bastard from Stone Brewing Company.
Score: 92

2011 bomber bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark red-mahogany, translucent-opaque color with two and a half fingers of monstrous khaki-colored head that settles into a thin, frothy layer. Absolutely amazing lacing; this beer sticks to the side of the glass like glue. 4.5/5

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Figs, raisins and creamy chocolate, some dark cherry. A little molasses. Smells like a complex stout with notes of booziness. 4.5/5

Taste: The complex flavors in this beer are extremely balanced. The front is loaded with piney hop bitterness and some light citrus, while the mid-palate is malty-sweet. Grapefruit upfront, a little apricot and peach too. Detecting caramel malts, figs and a hint of bitter dark chocolate on the mid-palate as the beer layers. Hard to discern specific flavors because of the sheer balance of the brew. Finish is acidic, bitter, and lingering. Finish is also a little spicy and a touch boozy. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium, maybe medium-light, bodied with very little carbonation. Creamy and dry. Finishes bitter and acidic. 4/5

Overall: An absolutely brilliant strong ale.

Recommendation: Despite the balance, the flavors of the beer are likely a little too intense for casual beer drinkers (who should heed the beer label's warning). Beer geeks, on the other hand, absolutely need to seek this complex brew out.

Pairings: Spicy mexican food or a sharp cheese.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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