Nov 2, 2009
Double Bastard Out Today!
My experience with the Double Bastard came at the hands of my good friend Devin. He brought it to me for my birthday. At the same birthday, someone brought me "Il Bastardo" wine. Thanks guys . . . no, no don't sugar-coat it. Anyway, it sat in my fridge for a day or two. Then one afternoon my girlfriend and I both had the day off. We went to our favorite Japanese place (shout to Sakura on Ditmars) and, in the spirit of celebration, had a bit of sake. Being sake-drunk is like being wrapped up in a blanket by Jesus. You catch a dope buzz without all the headaches or dehydration. How is this possible? Only the ninja-angels who brew it can say for sure. I'm sorry. That was racist. I'm sure samurais brew it as well.
Things were going great until we got home, when my 22oz.-er of Double Bastard beckoned me. "Hey Allen," it said. "Having a good day?"
"Yeah absolutely," I replied.
"Well, I know you're feeling adventurous. Why not try me out?"
"Ehhh . . . I don't know. I'm on a sweet sake buzz right now."
"Who are you talking to honey?" my girlfriend called from the other room.
"If you rat me out I'll fucking kill you," the bottle said. Now, this should have tipped me off.
"Uh . . . no one," I said, pulling the bottle out, my shaking hands tentatively dispensing its contents into two glasses.
Twenty minutes later, we were nursing wounds on our heads from falling onto our coffee table. This beer is messed up.
For those of you not hip to the trends, one large facet of American craft brewing right now is a string of ultra-hoppy India Pale Ales (IPAs), double IPA's, Imperial IPA's, and just outright bitter brews. I am not one of those people who loves all these particular joints, but the sheer unbridled viciousness, the brutality of Double Bastard makes it at least worth trying. They seriously do not give an eff whether anyone likes this beer, and I respect that. Stone, if you don't know, is one of the premier craft brewers in America (check them out here). They make absolutely bold, brilliant beers. So (and this is the part that makes this beer so compelling for me) they could make a subtly hoppy, debonair sort of specialty brew. But they didn't. This beer isn't lacking craft nor is it based on any flawed premise; they wanted this beer to taste exactly like it does. Even though it isn't necessarily my cup of tea, it is the type of beer that is in a way emblematic of craft beers today: brash, uncompromising, and equally interested in boundary-pushing as it is with any sort of sensory pleasure. In as much as the exciting and full flavors of craft beer are a reaction to watery McBeer, this beer is a microcosm of the whole prevailing attitude: to move as far away from mass-produced beer in both taste and ingredient purity/quality as possible. It is a beer that exists as an antithesis to mass-marketed, corn-and-rice, easy-to-swallow beers. Is Double Bastard's huge, borderline uncomfortable flavor necessary to achieve this? Probably not. But is it appreciated? Always.