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Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale
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very good

151 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.03%

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
100% Barrel Fermented.

(Beer added by: Zorro on 04-11-2004)
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 43 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AgentMunky


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a half-pint at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 24 February 2013.

A: Very clear gold

S: Toffee malts and earthy dull hops. Very English.

T: Full, robust, and lightly creamy-sweet. Caramel malt and fresh, balancing hops.

M: Very sparkly/carbonated; prickly.

O: Great beer! Better than DBA or DDBA. Gentle, soft, and eminently drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2013 05:59:16 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of MasterSki


3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Norse Bar. Served in a pint glass.

A - White foam settles to a thick collar, partial cap, and splotchy lacework. Hazed orange body.

S - Sharp oak, toasted grains, very low sweetness, fruity English yeast. There's some nebulous earthy hop character too. A bit rough - I can see why they blend this, as the oak really takes over.

T - The taste is much sweeter, with toffee, sugar cookie, oaky vanilla, fruity yeast, toasted grains. Better balance here between malts and oak. Fairly low hop bitterness, but enough to keep things from being cloying.

M - Medium body, zesty carbonation, oaky and tannic texture, no alcohol, and a dry finish.

D - Solid brew, albeit a bit too okay for my tastes, particularly in the aroma. I had no problem putting down a glass, but I wouldn't actively seek this out. Still, it's always neat to get more insight into Firestone Walker's blending process.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2013 02:25:20 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Samuel906


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This was the second time I've had this, and the first time and the only time I've seen it outside of the Firestone brewery. Looks very similar to the normal DBA, but slightly lighter in color, with some mild sediment and lots of head. Smell is slightly more bready and yeasty than DBA, but disappointingly mellow. Taste is sweet, slight oak, a touch bitter, but very similar to the normal DBA. Very smooth. Overall, underwhelming.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2013 05:26:20 | More by Samuel906
Photo of denver10


4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy translucent yellow with an amber hue, a nice thickish off white head, and solid retention. Aroma offers some sweet bread and toffee, the oak from the barrels are present, and just a touch of some grass. Flavor is similar; malt is very influential with some sweet breadiness and some toffee, there is a nice dose of the oak barrels (much more so than in the regular DBA, that is for sure), a hint of a little sweet fruits, and slight hints of grass. A creamy, medium bodied. Overall, FW with another winner. Tons of great flavor packed into 5%...consider me impressed. Would happily drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2013 21:41:48 | More by denver10
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap as part of flight at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, CA.

A - Hazy amber/copper color, small ring of head

S - Sweet malt, good amount of esters and breads, toffee, and a touch of fruit.

T - Earthy malt base with good amounts of toffee, light fruit hops, and a decent helping of oak. Very nice complexity.

M - Smooth, full-bodied, well carbonated.

Overall - Incredibly good beer by FW. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 12:04:56 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of FosterJM


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1538th Review on BA
Draft to 6oz Snifter

@Firestone Walker, Paso Robles

App- A very pretty amber with some lively carbonation and a tame 1/2 in head that was not inclined to stick around for long. This when the head faded really looked like a spirit or a whiskey.

Smell- A bit of earthly english malt, a faint citrus. I get most of the toffee and oak on the aromas. It was quite pleasant and aromatic. The regular DBA seems a bit lost and more leaning towards a small DDBA.

Taste- I enjoyed this one better than the base and less than DDBA. This was a very good addition of the oak. The base malts sing a little bit more and there is more definition of the hops and a bit of vanilla as the last flavors to come up. A bit creamy and smooth.

Mouth- It was a bit bitter on the finish but it was a nice feeling especially with the oak residual flavors. A bit of a medium solid body with a good low/medium carbonation feel to it..

Drink- Like I said. DDBA>UDBA>DBA. Its the middle brother of the family. The silver medal if you will.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2012 02:28:03 | More by FosterJM
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap into an imperial pint glass (20 oz.) at Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, Calif., on Aug. 9, 2012 for $5.50. One finger of head when I got it. Beer color was caramel honey. Good retention on top, a bit foamier on the sides.

Smelled slight hops, dark fruits, light fig, wheat and toffee. Pretty light altogether.

Tasted much better than the smell. Oaky, smooth, toffee, caramel, dark fruits. Lots of other tastes as well, but all come together nicely.

Medium body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long and smooth finish, which kept wanting me to have more.

Just so much better than the regular DBA. I had another one of these later. Really enjoyed this.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2012 09:15:03 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of corby112


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark copper color with amber edges and a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with a touch of grassy hops and a subtle oak barrel presence. Hints of caramel, toffee, rye and biscuit followed by floral line notes and toasted oak.

Medium bodied and surprisingly hop forward with spicy, earthy bitterness that lingers over the sweeter notes and oak barrel into a slightly dry finish. Decent amount of dry bitterness with grassy pine flavor that's coutered by caramel malt, toffee and hazelnut. Sutle toasted oak presence that isn't as strong as the nose suggests.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2012 20:54:31 | More by corby112
Photo of peacebone116


4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this brew on 6/27/12 at the Paso Tap Room from an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy light brown, copper-like color, with little off-white head.

N: Sweet malt and aromatic yeast esters and subtle hop florals.

T/M: The taste follows the nose with added oak characteristics. The body is medium to light with a smooth character. The carbonation is present but definitely not overbearing.

This is a fantastic beer. It seems to remind me of the Abacus with its malt tones. This is significantly more tasty than the standard bottled version of Double Barrel. I would love try this on cask. (Can you make that happen, Firestone?)

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2012 22:03:34 | More by peacebone116
Photo of charlzm


4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed July 1st, 2012 at Firestone Walker Taproom, Paso Robles, CA.

Hazy copper/amber colored beer. For a head, this one sports only a fine little crown that sticks to the edges of the glass.

Restrained aroma: just a mild toffee.

Flavor: toffee and caramel and some sweet peach. Finishes with a tea-like flavor. Oak in the background. Zero bitterness. A little more complex and certainly more tasty than this description gets across.

Mouthfeel: a bit on the thin side and a little tingle on the tongue.

I could have a few of this one. Outstanding!

Serving type: cask

07-31-2012 19:59:17 | More by charlzm
Photo of DocJitsu


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark cider color with a perfectly formed white head. Head retention is better than any other FW brew I've had. The beer is extremely cloudy. I like how home brewy the appearance is. The nose is so reminiscent of Christmas pull candy from back home. The flavors are very smooth with oak and vanilla. I like this beer a lot. I'll be having a lot of it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 03:43:26 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of DoubleJ


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Surly Goat, and what a great way to reach beer review #2000, on the same visit I made place review #400! The orginal DBA already has a cult following in the area, and is one of the first craft options I even knew about not named Sam Adams. Now the unfiltered version, and now it's on to the beer:

It's an amber orange colored beer, one with pretty good head retention and more than a few strings of lace clinging to the glass. The nose is a little harder to get. You need to dig it up, but eventually the aromas of earth and woodsy characteristics arrive.

Now we're talking. The flavor comes out in spades, and it's very complex. Flavors of earth, caramel, minerals, oak, woody notes create a beer that is not only flavorful, but also very reefreshing and drinkable. It's medium bodied, somewhat clean, with a pleasant mineral woody and mineral combination in the aftertaste.

Between the original and unfiltered version, it's like night and day. There's so much more going on in the unfiltered DBA. This is one to be on the lookout for.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2012 17:28:10 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of kojevergas


3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught at Firestone Walker's new taproom (not the tasting room) in Paso Robles on its grand opening day. They ran out by the time I returned on the night of its second day of operation. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, decent thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a hazy semitransparent copper-gold. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Very fresh orange peel, clove, citrusy notes, and clean malts. A mild strength aroma - but also a pleasant and fresh one.

T: Orange citrus fruit esters - very fresh and brilliant. Quite enjoyable and pleasant. Simple but very balanced. Some floral hops. Very well built for what they're going for. The orange peel is really incredible. There's a note here that's almost cidery. Refreshing.

Mf: Smooth, wet, crisp, and fresh. Adequately carbonated. Very pleasant. Near perfect thickness. Complements the flavours well by not intruding on them. No oak comes through.

Dr: Very drinkable. I'd definitely have it again. Refreshing and enjoyable. Great for what it's trying to do, but it fails to be great due to its relative lack of both complexity and subtlety. There's nothing unique here, but it's one of Firestone Walker's better beers.

High B-

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2012 03:58:06 | More by kojevergas
Photo of spicelab


3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint from FW brewery taproom@Paso Robles. Reviewed from notes.

Deep amber. Little to no head. Steady bead.

Strong toffee and dark fruit malt character gives good aromas of plums and prunes, while a pronounced grainy element and a sweet floral edge round out a suitably English nose.

Melange of maltiness, with ginger nut biscuits in spades, alongside nutty and mild caramel notes. Faint floral hops. Nicely balanced.

Moderate but spot on carbonation provides a nice lifted vibrancy.

Quaffable session beer. Clean, crisp and hits the spot. An able exposition of English styles.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 11:38:29 | More by spicelab
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the ColLAboration beer fest at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to an oily film. No lacing on this one. Smell is very malty and fruity. Taste is of malt, fruit, and some woody flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer and I enjoyed this one much more than the regular Double Barrel Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2012 04:17:09 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Brewermeister


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark orange amber color. Had a nice head with good retention. Tasted sweet and citrusy just like it smelled. Light to medium body; smooth going down. I like the original but this is so much better than the filtered version. I tried some at the end of the brewery tour.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2012 09:01:59 | More by Brewermeister
Photo of elNopalero


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a roasty amber color. There’s a pleasant biscuit-malt aroma and a light toasty biscuit flavor rounded out by a gentle honey finish. I didn't pick up a major contrast between this and the regular DBA on tap, but in terms of nuances I felt this was very smooth, very drinkable, well-rounded and one of the treats from visiting their tasting room.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2011 20:42:15 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Douglas14


4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 100% Oak DBA looks similar to its "regular" counterpart: it has a nice amber color and a slighty off-white head. The aroma is strongly of fresh oak...nice but almost too much. The taste follows the aroma. Lots of oak. This beer is so freaking good in it's original form it's hard for this one to be better, but it's such a nice experience to get to drink this beer unblended. Truly a unique and memorable experience.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2011 17:38:52 | More by Douglas14
Photo of jethrodium


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Firkin at Beer Revolution. Pours a cloudy bronze amber with a small fluffy, white head that has very good retention and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. The aroma is caramel malt, some earthiness, a decent amount of oak as well as some breadiness. The taste is biscuit, caramel, some earthiness, and a decent amount of oak. It has a bready finish with a light bitterness. Relatively dry. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. Quite enjoyable. I liked this significantly better than the regular double barrel ale.

Serving type: cask

09-26-2011 07:23:05 | More by jethrodium
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

amber with a nice overall fluffy three finger head of lace then rose up above it before settling down to nothing in the end, with just a clear top and no side glass lace. Initially a bit of carbonation streaming up, however this died down rather quickly to be honest.

The aroma was full of grainy malt characters. Not as sweet as I have seen in others, but it had a nice citric hop presence as well. Some nice grassy tones as well. The flavor followed perfectly, really making this quite the hoppy little red ale. The first notes of grains coming through very clearly, but then melding seemlesly with a strong citrus and pine like hoppy punch. Some light notes of caramel coming through now and blendning it all together. The finsih is strong, nice and drawn out with a good amount of hoppiness and bitter flavors riddled throughout. Nice light bodied ale that stayed very well carbonated and had an excellent dry finish to it.

Serving type: growler

08-27-2011 02:06:09 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of beertunes


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in bubble pint glass at a FW brewers night. I just went and looked at my review for DBA and found that it doesn't reflect how I now view the brew.

This is a very clean, fresh, tasty version of the regular DBA. If you can tell the difference between the regular and cask versions of one your regular brews, that's what this is.

Well balanced between hops and malt, greatly drinkable and just all-around tasty. The cask/firkin version is a must try if you see it.

Serving type: cask

07-08-2011 08:19:53 | More by beertunes
Photo of nickd717


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at Monk's Kettle for a Firestone Walker event.

Pours a cloudy amber color with minimal head from the cask.

Aroma is really interesting. Caramel malt and citrus along with interesting oak and vanilla notes.

Flavor is very oaky, along with vanilla from the barrel and even some coconut milk. Caramel malt and nuttiness from the malt as well, along with some citrusy and tropical fruit hop notes.

Smooth on the palate with medium body and low carbonation.

Wow, what an improvement this is over regular DBA. Drinking this was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I couldn't help but down it quickly. This is a really killer English Pale Ale.

Serving type: cask

05-09-2010 02:15:22 | More by nickd717
Photo of Krevee


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on 05/01/10
Poured from 2L Growler into a Bruery tulip

A - Poured a darker orange/amber color with quite a large head that lingered for quite a bit of time. And it also had lacing that lingered for quite a bit of time.

S - The smell was mostly caramel malts with some hops and a little bit of citrus.

T - The beer had a sweet taste to it with some caramel malt notes. It had a hoppy/bitter finish with notes of oak.

M - The mouthfeel was on the light/medium side of things with a good middle amount of carbonation. And the beer had a smooth feel as it went down my throat.

D - At 5% Abv this beer is sessionable and you can drink a few pints without feeling to buzzed which is nice. IMO it is a beer you sip, but is good and I prefer it over the standard double barrel ale.

Serving type: growler

05-03-2010 00:47:56 | More by Krevee
Photo of washburnkid

New York

3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

Just barely hazy light copper/dark amber hues. Not much head retention and minimal lacing at best. Very fruity on the nose, with a huge aroma reminding me of apples. The flavors really fell flat for me here. There is apple and then a lightly toasted malt, but nothing is very prominent and I'm having a really difficult time discerning more flavors. The mouthfeel is thin, and the carbonation is lightly slacking. The brew leaves behind a nondescript film over my palate. I'm a little disappointed with this one. What I tried at the brewery tastes very little like what others have described. It was my first beer of the day, so I know my palate was fresh and ready to discern flavors. I would easily try this again, but that'll have to wait until I can get to the brewery again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2010 18:55:26 | More by washburnkid
Photo of JBogan


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Firestone brewery. A hazy orangeish brown with a small head which quickly receded and left minimal lacing.

Caramel malt aroma, with a hint of citrus.

Taste was also mainly caramel, with a hint of vanilla and citrus. Not especially complex but it was enjoyable.

Mouthfeel was slightly thinner than I remember their "regular" version of this being. Still it was very smooth and somewhat creamy.

Overall this wasn't a huge departure from their "standard" DBA. It was nicely drinkable and worth a try if you ever happen to come across it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2010 03:33:29 | More by JBogan
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Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.