Monday, November 13, 2006

STONE SHOOTS AN AIRBALL

Talk about a letdown. The beer blogs and bulletin boards (not that I check them.....) have been buzzing about the late October release of STONE BREWING’s highly-touted DOUBLE BASTARD ALE, a super-strong ale that’s an aggressive cousin to the outstanding ARROGANT BASTARD ALE. They’ve put these things out on a seasonal basis – not sure for how long. I bought one without a second’s hesitation at my local Whole Foods, and I was only in the store this time because I read on Stone’s website that they were peddling this one there. I thought it was awful, quite honestly, which is 180 degrees from what I was expecting (I think it was just last month that I typed something along the lines of STONE being the US’s finest brewer). This is an absolute alcohol monster, at 10%, and it does nothing to disguise this fact, so it tastes like something approximating a bourbon and a barleywine mashed together. It looks and even smells a bit like its namesake brew Arrogant Bastard, but where that one is fruit-filled and hoppy, this one brings tears to the eyes with every gulp. It’s that alcohol – that and the out-of-whack combo of flavors. Gross. I know that their packaging has all this malarkey about how you have to be tough & brave & strong and all that to enjoy the beer, but if it’s still lame at the end of the day, and this is, then I’ll just go back to other experimental beers that get it right. This heinous misadventure in “extreme brewing” seems to be pleasing many in the sometimes herdlike Beer Advocate community, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why. 4/10, and a must to avoid.

3 comments:

beerinator said...

One of my favorite beerexperiences involves Double Bastard. I think it's a great beer worthy of most of the hype it gets on ba and rb.

Sorry you didn't like it as much as me, but that's how life goes!

FretlessC said...

guy from Stone came to Boston recently, and I must say this year's Double Bastard was the best they've ever made, and I think their best beer yet.
Given, it's extreme and weird. Then again, it is California.
The 10th anniversary is easier to drink, and of course the Stone IPA is amazing.
I think you would like the smoked porter - it's very smooth and neither over smoked nor over bacon-fatted.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to read reviews about things, because it only proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I tried the DB back in November by random chance, without any prior knowledge of it. I've been slowly making my way though the store's singles section and the Double Bastard was up for its turn. I absolutely fell in love with it; so much, in fact, that I bought it each time I went back, until there was no more (they probably had only 5 bottles stocked). I'm just this evening realizing, after some looking on the intarweb, that it is a seasonal brew and I won't be tasting it again until next year. Too bad! I got to try Ruination IPA last night and found that to be an enjoyable treat, but I'm stilll ooking forward to next fall's batch of DB.