Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale
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very good

213 Ratings
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Ratings: 213
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 8
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Zorro on 04-11-2004

100% Barrel Fermented.
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 46
Reviews by JamesQuaff:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Professor_Yeesh
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

You can taste the difference from the regular DBA. UDBA includes 100% beer coming from the Oak barrels whereas DBA ferments 80% in steel silos and only 20% in the oak barrels for a final mix that goes into DBA.

Photo of augustgarage
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-pump cask at Blue Palms in Hollywood. Served in a 20oz nonic.

Burnt umber liquid with rust highlights. Superlative retention of the thick beige head. Very good lacing.

Nuts, wheat bread dough, and mild hop aromatics.

Brown bread, a touch of banana, slight caramel, earthy hops, and well water on the palate. Light pepper on the finish. Excellent, though the hops could stand up for themselves a little more.

Slightly chalky mouthfeel; not quite medium-bodied...

Overall, just a touch flat tasting (though not flat bodied), almost like it is diluted with mineral water - but an excellent domestic rendition of a British classic...

Photo of nickd717
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of MiScusi
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Firestone Taproom in Buellton.

Came poured as a dark brown-amber, almost not able to see through with much clarity, and with no head at all. I don't think the lack of head was the fault of the bartender pouring it because swirling to regenerate does absolutely nothing.

The smell is pretty subtle but malty, toasty. The taste is malty and balanced with hops. It was pretty similar to the regular Double Barrel but this one was indeed a bit smoother. Drinkability was a little better as well.

Photo of Brewermeister
4.3/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  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.

Photo of anchordrinker
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a medium amber with a little head that dissipates after a few minutes.

S- Sweet caramel malt, as well as floral and fruity undertones dominate the aroma.

T- It has flavors of whole grain bread, mildly citric fruit, some woody-ness, and a somewhat rich sweetness that reminds me of coconut milk. Sounds like a bizarre combination of flavors, but it is very very tasty.

M- Thin to medium bodied, with ample carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel that keeps you sipping.

D- It is difficult to imagine a beer that is more drinkable, between the flavor, which is as complex as it is enjoyable (very), and the soft, smooth mouthfeel, this is a great session beer. Definitely one of the few I've had that balances intricate complexity with great drinkability.

Photo of spicelab
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of Zorro
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A special offering only available at Firestone's 2 tap rooms. This stuff can't be bottled.

Pours a cloudy nut-brown brew.

Smell is a nutty malt smell with a strong smell of Oak.

The taste is VERY! Different from the filtered Double Barrel Ale.

The taste of this is very flavorful with a strong vanilla flavor. Lots of peach and apricot fruit flavors in this and a lovely butteryness. This is much superior to the bottled and filtered Double Barrel Ale.

Mouthfeel is very full and creamy, almost milky thick and pleasing.

Drinkability is exceptional!

I asked why this stuff can't be bottled and was told that it would go through a second fermentation and would ruin its taste because of the live yeast.

Photo of ThirdLap
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Sacramento Brewing February 16th 2009.

Pours a deep amber with a creamy off-white head. Tons of chunky lacing leaves a thick film covering the glass.

I get vanilla, breadiness, and a slight amount of hops on the nose. Seems to have a distinct vegetable-like characteristic to it.

Taste is mainly caramel, brown sugar, a slight and well-balanced hop and malt presence, and a bit of woodsy oakiness. Finish is smooth and clean.

As to be expected with a cask beer, carbonation is minimal. Body is light to medium. Very smooth on the tongue.

A solid offering from Firestone, although not as good on-cask as I had hoped.

Photo of bnelson997
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

All the best parts of regular DBA with the added benefit of more oak! Awesome that this seems to be a constant growler fill beer at the brewery.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with plenty of head.

S: Lots of bread from the malt with a decent amount of hops.

T: Lots of caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt, and a bit of hoppiness.

M: Nearly full bodied with lots of malt and a good amount of carbonation.

D: A good brew, but not something I'd like to have too many of.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%

On tap at the FW Tasting Room – Paso Robles
Served in a FW Tasting snifter glass – 08/16/2014

A: Light caramel color body with a hint of sunburst orange to it and a semi murky look. Thin lip of khaki froth in the small taster glass. Retention is lacking here and there is not much by way of any stick either.

S: The aroma is full of earthy new oak with a steady flow of malty biscuit and toasted nuttiness. There is some very subtle vanilla spice there. Has some really nice oak character to it.

T: The flavor basically tastes like a freshly tapped DBA. I get bready baked pretzel with a little touch of spice, vanilla , and some earthy young oak. The beer has a lower amount of actual bitterness and the alcohol is well hidden throughout. Finishes dry and creamy. Very smooth and refreshing with some fresh oak flavors.

M: Moderate to lighter feel in body with a nice smooth texture. Low bitterness keeps things frothy and light on the palate. Finishes dry and lightly crisp. Pretty clean approach overall.

D: Unfiltered DBA is a very nice treat that offers up a fresher more flavorful experience than the standard DBA. Not incredibly complex or anything deviating to far from the standard DBA but still just as drinkable. A nice to try situation I just wish they would put this one out in the market.

Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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!

Photo of HighOctane
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo

Appearance is slighty cloudy with copper-amber hue. Aroma is a faint smokiness with hints of oak though I must admit to have been influenced by the aroma from the plate of BBQ ribs at the table.

Taste is a mellowed version of the filtered DB with a doughy maltiness balancing the hops. Drinkability sets this beer apart from other Pale Ales.

Photo of Douglas14
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of Samuel906
2.78/5  rDev -30.2%
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.

Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  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.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
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-

Photo of DogFood11
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Buellton location. I started the evening with the pale ale and the second brew I got was the unfiltered double barrel ale. First sip and I was hooked. They poured it into a pounder glass and it formed a nice 2 finger head that fell to a solid cover.

Lots and lots of woody barrel aged goodness. Hops are still evident enough to keep this baby poppin'. After one serving I couldn't move on to anything else. It was my beer of choice for the evening. Much more complex than its regular version of double barrel. How so? Well the original version is good but it tends to be rather pedestrian and subtle. Maybe the unfiltered version is more for the beer geeks of the world as its a kicked up version of its sister beer. Just think double barrel with something extra. The extra is in the intesity of character. One of the best brews I've had in my life. I don't think this beer can improve. Perfect across the board.

Notes: Loved it fresh on tap. Probably closer to a wide open style like red/amber then a pale but thats splitting hairs. I was able to pick up a case of the 10th anniversary as well.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From memory, on-tap at the Buellton Tap Room.

Appearance: A copper-colored beer if I ever have seen one. Very very slight head. Lacing is fizzy and transient but there.

Smell: Picked up the oak a lot more easily than I can in the filtered version. Caramel malts, sweet and slightly citric hops.

Taste: Has much more umph than the filtered version. Oak flavor remains. Caramel, bready yeast malt flavors. Hop bitterness on the back end which is predominately pine-y, but included some citric.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but smooth. A little astringent in that "I've been sitting in an oak barrel" sort of way.

Drinkability: Could drink them all day. As I said in my review of the taproom, the experience just left me wondering why they feel the need to filter Double Barrel Ale in the first place - this was not some remarkably strong or heavy duty beer. zorro's review below seems to indicate that this can't be bottled, which I don't understand at all, but maybe there's a reason for it. Still, nice to try, definitely.

Photo of MisterClean
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Sac Brew. Woo-hoo

A - Poured copper orange with 2 fingers orange-white head. Doesn't dissipate and leaves beautiful lacing. Wow oh wow.

S - Notes of honey, nectar, and flowers.

T - Only differs from the smell with a hint of oakiness.

M - Full bodied, well balanced, but malt dominated. Leaves a smooth, sweet, but lighlty dry aftertaste.

D - Great session beer. Could have done several, but the wallet was getting thin.

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.82/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 2/7/09 - a Saturday. Served after Telegraph's California Ale, paired with Seared Ahi Tuna.

A: Nut-brown. Slightly hazy. Nice.

S: Nutty malt. Oak is forward.

T: Very different from the filtered Double Barrel. So smooth & delicious. I really dug this brew. Very flavorful w/vanilla flavors. Sweet fruit flavors abound. If you can taste this brew - GO FOR IT!

M: Creamy & full. Well done.

D: All day.

Hard to come by... I can get growlers for those that would like to trade (express shipping would be recommended - I'll foot the bill there - it's worth it!).

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.