I think Stone’s brewmaster must have been paraphrasing Ron Swanson when creating Double Bastard Ale and its barrel-aged cousin Southern Charred: “Just give me all the hops and malt you have. Wait, wait. I’m worried what you just heard was, ‘Give me a lot of hops and malt.’ What I said was, ‘Give me all the hops and malt you have.’ Do you understand?”
Weighing in at 95 IBUs and 12.6% ABV, the hops and bourbon-tinged maltiness wage a holy war on the battlefield that is your tastebuds. It’s 100% boozy. And it’s 100% hoppy. But I really feel like this is the exception to most holy wars, in that we all win.
Aged for 10 months in Kentucky bourbon and American oak barrels, the harshness of Double Bastard hasn’t exactly mellowed, but the bitterness has other giant, complex flavors to contend with—bourbon, smokiness, bourbon, vanilla and bourbon. It’s a combination that works, though Stone responsibly warns that it “not be wasted on the tentative or weak.”
It almost makes me wonder why nobody has thought to add hops to bourbon, but that could just be the Stone Southern Charred talking. It’s being released in 500 ml bottles, and I made the mistake of only sharing 200 ml with the rest of the Paste office. I’m going to end this review now and go take a nap. Lots of bold yumminess, not for the faint of heart, yadda, yadda, yadda, new Drink editor Graham Averill will correct my slurring grammar, go find your own bottle.
City: San Diego, Calif.
Style: Bourbon-Aged American Strong Ale
Availability: Nov. 4