It has been cautiously pointed out to me by a couple of brewers now that IPAs are a very forgiving thing to brew. That is to say, a brewer’s mettle is better tested by the clarity and character of a pilsner or a lager than by something where any misstep along the way can be pummeled away by more and more hops. It seems reasonable that Stone, being one of the top craft breweries in the world, knows what they are doing and don’t need to buff out errors with bitterness (in fact, their Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout is a thing of crystalline beauty) but with output this hoppy, it might be impossible to know for sure.
The Double Bastard is precisely the kind of bouldering IPA that I am happy to just shut up and drink. Not many questions for the Luck Bastard, either. Both do that favorable thing to my tongue where it feels like my taste buds have been lacquered in licorice, making a real nuanced critique a bit impossible. Something of a catch-22 for someone who is pretending to review beer.