brewandbbq (269) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 16, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A vertical tasting of vintages 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
The 2003 and 2008 were sampled together, and the 2004 and 2006 were sampled the following evenings.
Vintage 2008 bottled on on 9/12/08.
Pours dark amber with a ruby hue. Clear body with a half inch head of off white. Some light rings of lacework after the short head fell, and a partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration.
Aromatics lead off with jammy malt, red and tropical fruits, and warming alcohol.
Peaches, apricots and melons lead the way for shadows of red grapes, cherries, and bourbon-spiked honey.
Sweetish and quite juicy.
On the thick side of medium bodied. Sticky and chewy mouthfeel. A bit light on the carbonation.
Sweet crystle malt, ripe fruit, fresh caramel, and a resinous bitterness start the palate. Warming alcohol steps forward as well as hints of caramel-candied apple, spruce dew, and candied figs.
Finishes with a lingering warmth, sustaining bitterness, and drawn-out sweet fruit.
A classic American strong ale that dances along the lines of a Barleywine.
Next up, a mini vertical with an aged example.
Pours cloudy, dark amber, with a half inch head of off white. A slow retreat revealed some spongy lacework and a few whisps on the placid surface.
Aromatics are heavy on the malt, with lots of wet leather, rotting cedar, wet paper, and Sherry. Very earthy and oxidized. Hops are not to be found, and the nose rounds out with hints of cocoa, cardboard, and dried earth.
Medium bodied, but very syrupy and chewy. A slick, tacky mouthfeel with subdued carbonation.
Stale malt, wet and dusty boards, worn leather, and earth-dusted chipped toffee start the palate. Oxidized Sherry steps forward as well as a warming boozy note and tannic caramel.
Finishes with a lingering dried earth note, dusty leather, stale malt, and old wood tinders.
Not a fan of the five year old DB.
Side by side with the 2008 freshie:
Wow, I wouldnít believe that they were the same beer unless I poured it myself. The freshie is cleaner, infinately hoppier all around, and much brighter. The peaches and apricots really shine though when sided with the oldster DB.
Pours clear, dark amber with a two inch head of off white. Retention is moderate and theres some decent lacing after the fall.
Aromatics lead off with ripe, red fruits, sweet malt, and alcohol. Significantly more boozy than the 2003 or 2008.
Slightly vineous with hints of bourbon fusels, cherries, figs, and sherry.
On the thick side of medium bodied. Slightly syrupy and plenty slick.
Dark fruits, cherry-infused malt, and bourbon-spiked toffee start the palate. A mild throat burn quickly steps forward as well as a peppery warmth.
Finishes with lingering alcohol, sweet malt, and fading red fruits.
Hardly a trace of oxidation in the 2004, which makes it pretty amazing how quickly this beer goes off the deep end. Looks like four years in the cellar is the max for a Double Bastard.
Pours murky dark amber, with a one inch head of off white. A partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration, along with some spotty lacework.
Aromatics lead off with dry, papery malt, caramel, toffee, earthy cedar, and a trace of cocoa. Warming alcohol follows through along with wet cardboard.
On the thick side of medium bodied and chewy. A creamy and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.
Drying malt, caramel dust, and hints of cocoa, nougat, and wet boards start the palate.
Dark fruits, warming alcohol, and an approachable biterness follow through.
Finishes with lingering cardboard-infused malt, stale chocolate, and a drying bitterness.
The 2004 was remarkable and somehow far superior to the 2006. Zero oxidation and was clearer in the glass.
Iíd like to think that the perfect amount of time for DB in the cellar is four years if you use the 2004 as a benchmark. The 2006 disproves this though.
Vintages in order of best to worst:
Note: All were stored in the cellar on thier sides for the duration, and the 2006 was very close to the 2003 in last place.
drsordr (570) - Loveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 11, 2013
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle pour dark amber copper. Nose sweet malt, dank hop. Hint of earthy spice. Taste sweet malt, spicy hop. Bitter starts in mid palate and lasts through a long finish. Reasonable mouth feel. I once drank a 3L of this for New Years.
ADesenberg (382) - Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at jungle jims: pours a dark, orangish red color with a healthy tan head. Aroma is toffee and pine needles... You know itíll be bitter before you try it. Taste is a bit of caramel and sweetness, but that gets knocked out by the bracing piney bitterness. Lovely.
tadahster (95) - SWITZERLAND - DEC 10, 2013
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep copper, very yeasty, no head, strong lacing, sweet, flowers and alcoholic, candy sugar, intensely sweet on the palate with a long lingering harsh and strong bitterness, almost medical in its bitterness
flying_pig (758) - SCOTLAND - DEC 10, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A 3rd of a pint in Brewdog Glasgow (£4.25):
An alright beer at best and I felt that the beer was only about loading the flavour with a mix of hops and alcohol meaning the balance was poor and the beer was a hard on to drink with everything in your face and to the extreme. Iím glad I got to try this one but I donít think Iíll be giving it a go again.
firemarshal (48) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 9, 2013
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle into snifter. Dark red color, dense small head. Aroma is toasty, resin, earthy, caramel, honey, banana. Flavor is powerful, with plenty of hops, roasted coffee caramel. Full bodied, sticky, lots of carbonation, extra bitter finish. Doesnít live up to the diatribe on the back of the bottle, but pretty good.
DanielBrown (3488) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 9, 2013
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Keg at Brewdog Brum. Nice lacing. Big, rich flavour, my old beauty. But pointy and glassy, like a posh Christmas tree decoration. Obviously lovely.
TrappistenOli (300) - Bern, SWITZERLAND - DEC 8, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wunderschöne farbe, bernstein, feine weisse schaumkrone, malzig fruchtig und etwas hopfiges aroma, sehr gehaltvolles mundgefühl, malzig und leicht alkoholisch im geschmack, stark gehopft, bitterer abgang welcher lange anhält
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
catface5326 (58) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - DEC 8, 2013
3.1 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Good beer. Honestly reminds me a lot of regular arrogant bastard. Another solid creation from stone.
jeevan (14) - - DEC 8, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Keg at Brewdog Edinburgh.Pours dark hazy orange. Nice head. The aroma is rich citrus hoppiness with sweet malts. And yes this is hoppy and bitter. That said, comparing this with many contemporary west coast US style ales, not so unusual these days... actually nae, This is one rich hoppy bastard ! What I particularly like about this is the way that the relatively massive hop bitterness doesnít in any way derail the wonderful malts and hop flovours. It just works. They got this spot on, as they did with Arrogant. Had this a few times now and certainly will again.
jerd16 (71) - Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 8, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours burnt orange with some red flames amongst it. Large, impressive robust tan head - its like bubble-bath foam on bath water.
Heavy hoppy aroma. Bitterness is invasive even in the aroma. Some toffee malt, heavily piney. Reminiscent of an even more brutal American DIPA.
Heavy and strong mouth-feel. I should have worked out my jaw before chugging. Hop-forward pine strangles the wimpy citrus. Heavy sugary malt. Some caramelised fruit. Consuming, evolving and evolving bitterness. Wow, that has pummeled my taste buds. Does it NEED to be this bitter? No-one enjoys a mouthful of flies, surely?