Over the past several years Alberta has received a treasure trove of new beers to satisfy our appetite for the bigger and better. No single brewery has been more wanted or requested than Escondido, California’s Stone Brewing Co. The beer we have today for review is the Double Bastard Ale which is a hyped up “imperial” take on their flagship Arrogant Bastard Ale. Double Bastard is an 11.2% American Strong Ale by category that has been described as “one lacerative muther of a beer” and that “your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory.” The Arrogant Bastard Ale has a similar but much less intensive warning.
Opening up the Double Bastard there is no hiss of carbonation which is a bit offputting at first. Pouring a deep and rich amber colour with a clear, sparkly body and a thin beige head that clings to the glass. The aroma is heavy and rich with loads of toffee and caramel malts atop surprisingly sweet and fruity aromas of orange peel and citrus. A bit of spice and bready malts pervade that aroma. The first sip is overly sweet and sugary with toffee and caramel malts, notes of nuts, pine and citrus hop notes and raisin. Towards the finish the fruit notes peter out leaving more hop emphasis with pine and grapefruit resin notes. Alot of biscuity and bready malts leave a rather heavy mouthfeel that comes across a bit oily and thick. The finish is dry and moderately astringent with a surprising smoothness. The alcohol is well hidden but for a slight warmth on the finish. A nice big brew with an interesting profile and a good balance of hops to malt.